I discovered this species in the year 2000
while exploring with noted orchid expert Stig Dalstrom. He
was looking for his favorite genus, Masdevallia,
and he had just found a new Masdevallia which was
later named Masdevallia stigii. I was focussing on
my genus, Lepanthes. On a fallen branch I found this
small species. Both the plant and the flower closely resembled
Lepanthes benzingii, a common species in the area.
I thought it really was L. benzingii, but I collected
it anyway as part of my research on geographic variation in
Lepanthes. I kept it alive, and weeks later I finally
looked at a flower under a microscope. It was totally different
in structure than L. benzingii!!! The flower color
and plant habit had fooled me completely. This is one of several
species I discovered by blind luck.
In January 2003 I explored
the Galeras mountains some distance to the north of the Upper
Pastaza Watershed. To my surprise I found this species growing
there, so it now is no longer an endemic to my area, and I
really shouldn't have it in here. I include it anyway because
I discovered it here first. It is worth remembering that our
knowledge of the flora of the eastern Andes is very poor,
and I expect a few other species in this book will eventually
be found outside of the Upper Pastaza Watershed.