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The Stanhopea Species


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Species & Natural Hybrids

Stanhopea (J. Frost ex Hook. 1829) is a genus of the orchid family (Orchidaceae) from Central and South America. The abbreviation used in the horticultural trade and amateur growing is Stan. The genus is named after the 4th Earl of Stanhope (Philip Henry Stanhope) (1781-1855), president of the Medico-Botanical Society of London (1829-1837). These epiphytic, but occasionally terrestrial orchids can be found in damp forests from Mexico to the north west of Argentina. Their ovate pseudobulbs carry from the top one long, plicate, elliptic leaf.

It is noted for its complex and fragrant flowers that are generally spectacular but short-lived. Their pendant inflorescences are noted for flowering out of the bottom and side of the containers in which they grow, lending themselves to culture in baskets that have enough open space for the infloresence to push through. They are sometimes called aptly the upside-down orchids.

Primitive Stanhopeas Most Stanhopea flowers display prominent, elegant horns on the epichile. The exception are the species; S. annulata, S. avicula, S. cirrhata, S. ecornuta and S. pulla. A second group have short or truncated horns, they include the species; S. candida, S. grandiflora, S. reichenbachiana, S. tricornis and all of the natural hybrids. The structure of the labellum of this group is in general, not as complex as other members of the genus.  

Basic Morphology of a Stanhopea Flower

With most Stanhopea flowers only lasting for three to five days, the blooms must attract pollinators very quickly. These chemical attractants are generated in the hypochile, attracting the male euglossine bees to the flower. When the bee touches down on the flower, a great effort is made to collect chemical scent - he eventually slides on the waxy surface of the hypochile, gliding down on the slippery lip to exit the flower. The long column is touched in the process, resulting in the bee taking up pollinia on it’s metathorax at the very tip of the column. When the bee slides down another flower, the pollinia are deposited on the sticky surface of the stigma.

The majority of species are robust plants that grow readily in cultivation.

The representative species is Stanhopea insignis.

The following is the most up to date list of Stanhopea species that I have been able to source.

(As of December 2007).

  • Stanhopea anfracta (Rolfe-1904) (Bolivia, Peru & Ecuador). 
  • Stanhopea annulata (Mansfield-1938) (Ecuador & Colombia).
  • Stanhopea avicula (R.L.Dressler-1989) (Panama).
  • Stanhopea candida (Rodriguez-1877) (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, The Guianas & Venezuela).
  • Stanhopea cirrhata (Lindley-1850) (Panama, Costa Rica & Nicaragua).
  • Stanhopea confusa (G.Gerlach & Beeche-2004) (Costa Rica).
  • Stanhopea connata (Klotzsch-1854) (Peru, Colombia & Ecuador).
  • Stanhopea costaricensis (Reichenbach-1860) (Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama & Costa Rica).
  • Stanhopea deltoidea (Lemaire-1862) (Peru).
  • Stanhopea dodsoniana (Salazar & Soto Arenas-2001) (Mexico & Guatemala).
  • Stanhopea ecornuta (Lemaire-1846) (Panama & Costa Rica).
  • Stanhopea embreei (Dodson-1975) (Ecuador).
  • Stanhopea florida (Reichenbach-1879) (Ecuador & Peru).
  • Stanhopea frymirei (Dodson-1975) (Ecuador).
  • Stanhopea gibbosa (Reichenbach-1869) (Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama).
  • Stanhopea grandiflora (Loddiges-1828) (Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, The Guianas & Brazil).
  • Stanhopea graveolens (Lindley-1840) (Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador & Mexico).
  • Stanhopea greerii (Jenny-2000) (Peru).
  • Stanhopea guttulata (Lindley-1843) (Brazil).
  • Stanhopea haselowiana (Reichenbach-1855a) (Peru).
  • Stanhopea hernandezii (Hernandez-1628,Kunth-1822,Schlechter-1918) (Mexico).
  • Stanhopea impressa (Rolfe-1898) (Ecuador & Colombia).
  • Stanhopea inodora (Lindley-1845) (Mexico, Guatemala & Honduras) to C. America). Now Stanhopea ruckeri ?
  • Stanhopea insignis (W.J.Hooker-1829) (Brazil).
  • Stanhopea intermedia (Klinge-1899) (Mexico).
  • Stanhopea jenischiana (Reichenbach-1852) (Colombia & Ecuador).
  • Stanhopea lietzei (Regel-1891) (Brazil).
  • Stanhopea maculosa (Knowles & Westcott-1839) (Mexico).
  • Stanhopea madouxiana (Cogniaux ex Claes Chronique Orchidéenne 1898) (Colombia). Now Stanhopea platyceras ?
  • Stanhopea maduroi (Dodson & Dressler-1998) (Panama & Colombia).
  • Stanhopea manriquei (Jenny-2004) (Peru).
  • Stanhopea marizaiana (Jenny-2003) (Peru).
  • Stanhopea martiana (Lindley-1840) (Mexico).
  • Stanhopea moliana (Rolfe-1892) (Peru).
  • Stanhopea napoensis (Dodson-1975) (Ecuador).
  • Stanhopea naurayi (Jenny-2005) (Peru).
  • Stanhopea nigripes (Rolfe-1894) (Peru).
  • Stanhopea novogaliciana (Rosillo-1982) (Mexico).
  • Stanhopea oculata (Loddiges-1832,Lindley-1832) (Mexico, Panama, Colombia & Venezuela).
  • Stanhopea ospinae (Dodson-1967b) (Colombia).
  • Stanhopea panamensis (N.H.Williams & W.M.Whitten-1988) (Panama).
  • Stanhopea peruviana (Rolfe-1912) (Peru).
  • Stanhopea platyceras (Reichenbach-1868) (Colombia).
  • Stanhopea posadae (Jenny & Braem-1993) (Colombia).
  • Stanhopea pozoi (Dodson & Bennett-1989d) (Ecuador).
  • Stanhopea pseudoradiosa (Jenny & R.Gonzalez-1997) (Mexico).
  • Stanhopea pulla (Reichenbach-1877) (Costa Rica, Panama & Colombia).
  • Stanhopea radiosa (Lemaire-1959) (Mexico).
  • Stanhopea reichenbachiana (Reichenbach-1879b) (Ecuador & Colombia).
  • Stanhopea ruckeri (Lindley-1843) (Mexico, Guatemala & Honduras).
  • Stanhopea saccata (Bateman-1838) (Mexico, Costa Rica & Panama).
  • Stanhopea schilleriana (Reichenbach-1870) (Colombia).
  • Stanhopea shuttleworthii (Reichenbach-1876) (Colombia).
  • Stanhopea stevensonii (Jenny-1994) (Colombia).
  • Stanhopea tigrina (Lindley-1838) (Mexico).
  • Stanhopea tigrina var. nigroviolacea (Morren-1845) (Mexico).
  • Stanhopea tricornis (Lindley-1849) (Peru, Ecuador & Colombia).
  • Stanhopea tricornis ssp. stenochila (Lehmann & Kraenzlin-1900) (Colombia).
  • Stanhopea wardii (Lindley-1838) (Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia & Venezuela).
  • Stanhopea warscewicziana (Klotzsch-1852) (Costa Rica).
  • Stanhopea whittenii (Soto Arenas, Salazar & G.Gerlach-2002) (Mexico, Guatemala & Belize).
  • Stanhopea xytriophora (Reichenbach-1868) (Peru & Bolivia).

Natural hybrids

  • Stanhopea x fowlieana (Jenny-1998) (Stanhopea costaricensis x Stanhopea ecornuta) (Costa Rica).
  • Stanhopea x herrenhusana (Jenny-1989) (Stanhopea reichenbachiana x Stanhopea tricornis) (Colombia).
  • Stanhopea x horichiana (Jenny-1988a) (Stanhopea wardii x Stanhopea ecornuta) (Costa Rica).
  • Stanhopea x lewisae (Ames & Correll-1942) (Stanhopea graveolens x Stanhopea ecornuta) (Guatemala).
  • Stanhopea x quadricornis (Lindley-1838) (Stanhopea grandiflora x Stanhopea wardii) (Colombia & Venezuela).
  • Stanhopea x thienii (Dodson-1980) (Stanhopea impressa x Stanhopea annulata) (Ecuador).

Intergeneric hybrids

  • Aciopea (Acineta × Stanhopea). Aciopea Guillermo Gaviria (Acineta erythroxantha x Stanhopea wardii) was registered Nov-Dec 2004 by Guillermo Gaviria-Correa (Colombia). Aciopea is abbreviated Aip..
  • Cirrhopea (Cirrhaea × Stanhopea)
  • Coryhopea (Coryanthes × Stanhopea)
  • Stanbreea (Stanhopea x Embreea)
  • Stangora (Gongora × Stanhopea)
  • Stanhocycnis (Polycycnis × Stanhopea)

References from:

The Genus Stanhopea Parts 1 & 2, Caesiana Issues 21 & 22, The Italian Journal of Orchidology, Author: Rudolf Jenny.

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