Los Cedros Reserve (Western Andes 400 Km N of Tapichalaca)

Form G from Los Cedros.
Lateral view of Form G from Los Cedros.

    The type specimen of L. nummularia was collected by William Jameson around 1856, without exact location. An examination of his collection records shows that he collected his specimen somewhere near Volcan Pichincha on the western slopes of the Andes. Curiously, all modern collections of L. nummularia are from the EASTERN Andes. Some months ago my orchidologist friend Lorena Endara gave me some live Lepanthes that she had collected in the western Andes; one of these just flowered and proved to be a form of L. nummularia! I call it Form G. The lip is long, thin, straight, and appressed to the column, somewhat different from most of the eastern forms. The only eastern form with a slightly similar lip is Form A from Tapichalaca, but there are significant differences. DNA analysis may eventually show us that this form is the same as Form A, but until then I shall tentatively treat it as distinct. Los Cedros has a flora very similar to that of Volcan Pichincha (according to Lorena) and I suspect that this is the form that Jameson collected. This Form G thus probably deserves to be known as the true L. nummlaria. Thank you Lorena!

   One of the Lepanthes nummularia specimens Lorena collected in the west has different leaves, but it has not flowered and is near death. I will use DNA analysis to see how it relates to the other forms. 

The lip of Form G is quite unlike the lips of most other forms..
Form G from Los Cedros. Flowers are carried perpendicular to the leaf.




Introduction and Tapichalaca Forms of Lepanthes nummularia

Forms from the Paute-Mendez Road (230 km N of Tapichalaca)

Forms from Banos (370 km N of Tapichalaca)

Forms from Sumaco-Galeras National Park (460 km N of Tapichalaca)

Forms from La Bonita, near Colombian border (550 km N of Tapichalaca)

Forms from Los Cedros, in the western Andes (530 km N of Tapichalaca)