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Phragmipedium caudatum (Lindley) Rolfe
in The Orchid Review, 4(47): 327-334 [332] (1896).
Basionym :
Cypripedium caudatum Lindley in The Genera and Species of Orchidaceous Plants: 531 (1840).
Synonyms :
Selenipedium caudatum (Lindley) Reichenbach fil. in Xenia Orchidacea, 1: 3 (1854). (Published 01-Apr-1854.)
Paphiopedilum caudatum (Lindley) Pfitzer in N. Pringsheim, Jahrbücher für wissenschaftliche Botanik, 19: 155-165 [164] (1888).
Cypripedilum caudatum Lindley , mentioned like this by Berthold Stein in his Stein's Orchideenbuch: 460 (1892), nomen nudum.
Phragmopedilum caudatum (Lindley) Pfitzer in A. Engler, Das Pflanzenreich, IV. 50. Orchidaceae-Pleonandrae (Heft 12): 1-132 [51-53] (1903).
Type(s) :
Varieties & Forms :
Phragmipedium caudatum f. albertianum (Linden) O. Gruß & Wolff

Other names that can be found:
var. aureum in Lindenia, 5: 100.
var. du Luxembourg in L'Orchidophile: May (1890).
var. giganteum Carr. in Lindenia, 2: 99, plate 96. - With very large flowers with long petals and with strong growth.
var. insigne in Lindenia, 3: 86.
var. Lombaerdianum in The Gardeners' Chronicle, June 23rd (1894).
var. longissimum in L'Illustration Horticole, : 77 (1886). - With very long petals.
var. majus in W. Bull, Catalogue, (1890).
var. Moensii Desbois in Cypripedium, Selenipedium & Uropedium: 501 (1898). - With large flowers.
var. nigrescens in Lindenia, 4: 98.
var. roseum-splendens Godefroy-Leboef in the collection Carnus.
var. Rougieri in Lindenia, 5: 100.
var. rubrum in Stevens' Catalogue: 19 (1888).
var. splendens in Lindenia, 5: 100.
var. superbum in Lindenia, 3: 86.
var. Taganti in Lindenia.

Most varieties found in the literature are based on difference in flower size and flower colour, and can best be treated as clones.
Etymology : This species' name is derived from the Latin word caudatus which means 'having tails', in reference to the long, drooping petals.
Plant : This semi-terrestrial to epiphytic species has short but strong roots, and a very short stem.
Leaves :
Inflorescence :
Flower : The staminode is three-lobbed, where the lateral lobs are pointing forward in the shape of a sickle. The middle lob is in the shape of a wide somewhat rounded triangle. The mouth of the lip is white with red dots on the edge.
Habitat : Phrag. caudatum grows at altitudes between 1400 m and 2500 m. With that they grow in-between cliffs and boulders in humus- and moss-cushions under trees, in moss-cushions on granite rocks which are constantly drenched, as well as on dead with moss overgrown tree-stumps and also on tree-branches up to 20-25 m high. So this species grows epiphytic, semi-lithophytic as well as terrestrial. It always grows together with mosses and ferns in places where moisture is constantly available through seepage channels.
The growing places for this species are subject to various light intensities, but they never grow in places exposed to full sun. It prefers quite bright half shadowy growing positions. The temperatures in summers are somewhere between 13 and 27 °C, while in winter the temperatures can be as low as 5 °C. The whole year round the relative humidity of the air is 60 to 80 %.
Distribution : Ecuador and Peru, possibly also in Colombia.
Flowering Season :
Chromosomes : 2n = 28 (Karasawa, 1980; Wimber, 1983).
History : During their botanical expedition in the Huanaco region in Peru between 1778 and 1779, the Spanish botanists Hipólito Ruiz Lopez and José Pavon (1754-1844) discovered this large flowered Phragmipedium-member and preserved some flowers. Very much later Mathews sends this herbarium material to Sir W. Hooker. It isn't until 1840 before John Lindley officially describes this species based upon this incomplete herbarium material. The description occurs in Genera and Species of Orchidaceous Plants, page 531, as Cypripedium caudatum. An other Phragmipedium-species which was included in this herbarium material was so heavily damaged that Lindley was unable to make a description. Two years later William Lobb, a plant collector for the Veitch nursery in Chelsey, started an extensive plant collecting expedition in the Andes, from which he returned after five years. It was his great luck to find plants of this new species east of Lima, and he send herbarium material back to Chelsey. Based on this material W.J. Hooker created a drawing in Icones Plantarum, 1844. In the text that accompanied this drawing he regrets the fact that the foliage is missing and therefore he cannot give an overall impression of the plant. Lobb took the collected living material with him to Jamaica. There he was taken seriously ill and the collected plants died. It wasn't until 1847 that he send living plants from Peru to his firm in England. According to information in Paxton's Flower Garden, Linden is said to have send plants to Europe almost at the same time.
1849 the first Phragmipedium caudatum bloomed with Mrs. Lawrence, who bought a plant from the Veitch nursery. Almost simultaneously one bloomed with C.B. Warner.
1852 Reichenbach fil. mentions in the Botanische Zeitung, 10, page 691, a plant which Warsewicz called Cypripedium humboldtii, but in which Reichenbach fil. recognized the plant that was at that time known as Cypripedium caudatum.
1854 Reichenbach fil. transferred this species to a new genus as Selenipedium caudatum (Lindley)Reichenbach fil. in Bonplandia 2, page 116 (dto. 4, page 217, 1856).
1862 Pearce, an other plant collector for the Veitch nursery, send a large collection of this species to Europe.
1888 Pfitzer changed the name in Paphiopedilum caudatum (Lindley)Pfitzer as part of his treatment of the Cypripedioideae in the Jahrbücher für wissenschaftliche Botanik from N. Pringsheim, 2(6), page 164.
All this was ended in 1896 by Rolfe in The Orchid Review, where he classified this extraordinary species as Phragmipedium caudatum (Lindley)Rolfe.
1892 Berthold Stein uses in his Stein's Orchideenbuch, page 460 f., the name Cypripedilum caudatum, while other authors use the genus name Phragmopedilum.
Comments : Fowlie (1972) reports that Phrag. caudatum from Peru is pollinated by small bees of various genera.