Masdevallia loui

 

Masdevallia loui grows with M. stigii in my Zone A, and has not been found elsewhere. It is much less common than M. stigii in this forest. This is a photo of the first specimen ever found.

 

    Noted orchid expert Stig Dalstrom and I returned to my Zone A in 2002 to try to refind Masdevallia stigii (see the M. stigii page for more about that species). We found it again, but to our surprise we also found many more Masdevallia species in the same spot. Stig at once recognized this one as a new species, and Dr. Luer quickly confirmed it. Even though Stig is the one who actually found this species (I was busy looking for Lepanthes), he offered to name it after me. It has just been published (May 2003) in Dr. Carl Luer's fifth volume of his Masdevallia monographs.

      Masdevallia loui is a very difficult species to find. We found only two or three plants  of this species, whereas on the same trails we found perhaps a dozen M. stigii. Since it has never been found anywhere else except in this vulnerable flat Zone A forest, it is best considered a threatened species.    

 

In this side view of M. loui, the intricate color pattern of the synsepal is easier to see.