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Phragmipedium hirtzii Dodson
in Orchis, 58: 129-132 (1988).
Synonyms :
Paphiopedilum hirtzii (Dodson) V.A. Albert & Börge Pettersson in Lindleyana, 9(2): 133-139 [137] (1994).
Type(s) :
Etymology : This taxon is named after Alexander C. Hirtz who discovered it in Ecuador at 15th of August 1986.
Description
Plant : The plants grow up to 40 cm. in height. In between the separate shoots is a distance of up to 12 cm. The rhizome is stalk/stem like and up to 8 mm in diameter. The real roots develop at the node like swellings along the rhizome.
Leaves : The grass like leaves are about 25 cm long and 1 cm wide.
Inflorescence : The inflorescence is upright, round and up to 40 cm high, with 2-3 bract like leaves. It carries 5 to 7 flowers which open successively.
Flower : The petals hang down and are twisted up to 9 times. The staminode is smooth and lacks any hairs.
Habitat : This species is found growing lithophytic on large boulders and rocks in small streams.
Distribution : Northwest-Ecuador and Southwest-Colombia.
Flowering Season : It flowers all year round.
Chromosomes :
History : On the 15th of August 1986 Alexander Hirtz found a new species of Phragmipedium in Ecuador, close to groups of Phrag. longifolium. 1988 Calaway H. Dodson described this new species in the September/October issue of the Italian orchid bulletin Orchis.
Comments : Phrag. longifolium is found growing only 2 to 3 meters from Phrag. hirtzii at steep riverbanks. The existence of a natural hybrid seems therefore very likely. In 1998 this natural hybrid was described as Phrag. ×roethianum O. Gruß & Kalina.
Phrag. hirtzii is very closely related to Phrag. longifolium. It can however be distinguished from longifolium by the smaller overall size, the grass like leaves, the hanging and up to 9 times twisted petals, the staminode which is without hairs and the up to 40 cm high inflorescence.