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Masdevallia encephala
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Masdevallia encephala

Masdevallia encephala Luer & R.Escobar, Orquideología 13: 56. 1978.

Type: Colombia. Santander, Munic. of Charalá, between Virolín and Páramo de la Rusia, alt. 2200-2600 m, 1975, collected by J. Guevara, cultivated by M. & O. Robledo at La Ceja, R. Escobar 1682 (holotype, JAUM).

Illustrated specimen: Colombia, Santander, Vélez province, municipality of La Belleza, Vereda Vista Hermosa, 2450 m, 27 April. 2016. Nicolas Gutiérrez M 007 (JBB; LCDP voucher).

The habit of Masdevallia encephala is quite like any other species of the genus, however, the inflated, almost completely fused, sepal blades, and bristle-like tails result in a very unique sub-globose flower. The name, which means “the brain” refers to the particular morphology of these rose colored flowers. The species is endemic to Colombia, where it is known by a few collections in Boyacá and Santander.

LCDP: Masdevallia encephala Luer & R. Escobar. A. Habit. B. Flower. C. Dissected perianth. D. Column and lip in lateral view, E. Lip. F. Petals. G. Columns in ventral and lateral views. H. Anther cap and pollinia. . .