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Prosthechea mejia
Icones Colombianae 3

Prosthechea mejia

Prosthechea mejia (Withner & P.A.Harding) W.E.Higgins Selbyana 29: 214. 2009

Synonyms: Anacheilium mejia Withner & P.A.Harding, Cattleyas & Relatives: Debatable Epidendrums: 101. 2004.

Type: Colombia. Hort. Mejia de Moreno s.n. (holotype: US).

Illustrated specimen: Colombia, Tolima: Roncesvalles, vía entre Rovira y Roncesvalles, 1400 m. Novemeber 2018, Milton Rincón González 481 (TOLI; LCDP Voucher).

Prosthechea mejia is easily recognized by its multi-flowered inflorescence with distinctly colored flowers and a lip that is white with a dark purple central blotch. The closest relative is P. sceptra (Lindl.) W.E.Higgins, with fewer flowers, yellow with many purple spots on the sepals and petals, and lighter purple on the lip. Prosthechea vita (D.G.Hunt, Withner & P.A.Harding) J.M.H.Shaw, described at the same time as P. mejia, is based on a plant obtained from Ecuagenera. The artist prepared the original drawings of P. mejia from a desiccated specimen and that of P. vita from a flower in liquid. At the time of description they appeared different, but the cultivated plants which served as types have continued flowering in Patricia Harding’s personal collection and are undoubtedly the same species…