Monographs Details: Stelis Sw.
Authority: Ackerman, James D. 1995. An orchid flora of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 73: 1-203.
Description:Genus Description - Plants sympodial, caespitose epiphytes or lithophytes. Roots velamentous. Stems slender, erect, unifoliate. Leaves articulate, apical, conduplicate, coriaceous. Inflorescences terminal, erect, 1 to few, fasciculate; racemes many-flowered. Flowers generally minute, flat; some species with sensitive flowers closing at night, during dry periods, or when disturbed. Sepals usually subequal, triangular; sometimes lateral sepals connate, forming a synsepal. Petals minute, transverse, marginally thickened, closely flanking the column and lip. Lip minute, thick, transverse, basally resting beneath the column. Column short, broad; stigma often bilobed, otherwise entire, rostellum apical; anther terminal, operculate; pollinia 2, hard, waxy. Fruit a capsule.
Discussion:Stelis Swartz, J. Bot. (Schrader) 2(4): 239, t. 2, fig. 3a-g. 1799. Type species. Stelis purpurea (Ruiz & Pavon) Willdenow, based on Humboldtia purpurea Ruiz & Pavon of regions from Panama to Peru.
A neotropical genus of more than 500 species. The generic name, a Greek word meaning "the mistletoe that grows on a tree," refers to its epiphytic habit.
Special Literature. Garay & Sweet, 1974; Garay, 1980a; C A . Luer, 1986b.