Teagueia alyssana Luer and Jost (Orchidaceae)

 

Teagueia alyssana LJ 3819

       Teagueia alyssana is one of the most unusually shaped species in the genus. The flowers face downwards, as in most of these creeping species. In life the flowers appear almost black, especially when seen in the dark gloom of its cloud forest understory home. The leaves are pebbly-textured and often have a few artful purple veins, making the entire plant attractive. The species can be terrestrial or epiphytic, and appears to be a bit more tolerant of exposure than its congeners.

      To date T. alyssana has only been found on Cerro Mayordomo in the province of Tungurahua, in east-central Ecuador. It is common there at elevations from 3100 m to about 3300 m.

    There are no similar species, so there are no taxonomic problems with T. alyssana. The species shows only very minor variations in flower shape and color. The leaves are more variable, ranging from broadly to narrowly ovate.

 

Teagueia alyssana leaves barely overtop the moss.

 

 

Drawing of T. alyssana LJ 1902 by Dr. Carl Luer, taken from his Icones XX (Luer 2000)..

 

Distribution of T. alyssana

Elevation legend for both maps in meters.

 

 

Teagueia alyssana Luer and Jost (Orchidaceae)