Teagueia jostii Luer (Orchidaceae)


Teagueia jostii (LJ 3771) from the type location, Cerro Mayordomo.

      Teagueia jostii is easily recognized. The large plants bear several arched inflorescences 20-30 cm long, each producing many successive flowers, often two or three open at once. The lateral sepals are connate for less than half their length, and are widely spread and slightly reflexed, but the small petals are strongly reflexed a short distance from their base. The flower color is yellow to tan with purple stripes on the sepals and a purple-flushed lip. The lip orifice is usually dark purple. The sheaths usually have bright purple warts. The leaves are smooth-surfaced.

     Teagueia jostii is one of the most common species of Teagueia on Cerro Mayordomo between 3100m and 3300 m. Another form of the species, larger and more robust and with a callus on each petal, is abundant on Cerro Añangu. I am tentatively lumping them because of their overall similarity, but future research may show these to be distinct species. If I can find populations of both of them growing together without intergrading, that would decide the issue.

    The Cerro Añangu form is so common in places that it forms a loose tangled mat, with hundreds of half meter long plants sprawlng over the ground in such numbers that it is impossible not to step on them. They grow intermixed with other Teagueia species but usually outnumber the others.     


Teagueia jostii LJ 1906, from Dr. Carl Luer's Icones XX (Luer 2000).




    The Cerro Mayordomo population is separated from the Cerro Añangu population by a deep valley; but the distance between the populations is only ten kilometers. In spite of their proximity, the populations show some significant structural differences. The Mayordomo form (the type form) has smaller flowers and much smaller plants. The column base is differently shaped (the Añangu form has a swollen base), and the collar of the lip is also different. In addition, the Añangu form has a big callus near the base of each petal. Compare the first set of photos, three different Mayordomo individuals, with the second set of three different individuals from Añangu. They are all reproduced here at exactly the same magnification, so differences in image sizes reflect actual physical differences.


LJ 3771, same flower as above, lateral view.
LJ 3774, also from Cerro Mayordomo.
LJ 3766, also from Cerro Mayordomo.


LJ 3350, from Cerro Añangu.
LJ 3379, also from Cerro Añangu.
LJ 3382, also from Cerro Añangu.


 For the moment I will assume that these two forms belong to the same species, because of their overall similarity, but the differences in column structure and in the shape of the lip collar make me suspect that the real situation may be more complex.


Teagueia jostii plant (LJ 3766).


Teagueia jostii in the field on Cerro Mayordomo.
Teagueia jostii LJ 3370 from Cerro Añangu.


Distribution of T. jostii

Elevation legend for both maps in meters.



Teagueia jostii Luer (Orchidaceae)