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Orchid Species: Pleurothallis rufa

Kew currently accepted name is Acianthera obscura

Pleurothallis rufa is an orchid species identified by Rolfe in 1898. Culture information and photos for this orchid are commonly detailed under the currently accepted name of Acianthera obscura.
Pleurothallis (Pths.)
ORIGIN: Mexico without locality. This species from the eastern declivity of the central highlands of Mexico at elevations around 1200 to 1800 meters.

DESCRIPTION: Text by Jorge Melendez: Plant epiphytic, small, shortly repent to caespitose, the secondary stem terete with 2-3 tubular sheaths below, shallowly channeled above, 6-10 cm long, Leaf thickened, very narrowly ovate to linear, acute tridenticulate, sessile, 7-11 cm. Inflorescence a fascicle of a few (2-3), short 2 to 3 flowered racemes; peduncles stout about 5 mm long, from the axil of the leaf; spathe about 3 mm long. Flowers small, bilabiate, fleshy, orange, externally sparsely verrucose; floral bract infoundibular, 2 mm long; pedicel stout, 2 mm long; ovary minutely verrucose, about 1.5 mm long; dorsal sepal elliptical, obtuse, convex above the middle, concave below the middle, 3.25 x 1.75 mm; lateral sepals connate into a suborbicular, concave lamina, obtuse, retuse, 3x3.5mm, bicarinate externally; petals elliptical, upper margin angled, acute, serrulate, yellow with 3 orange veins; lip ovate, fleshy dilated below the middle with the margins turned up. From the latin obscurus, "hidden" or "obscure", referring to the small flowers. Small sized, cool growing epiphyte is characterized by a rather stout, channeled stem and a thick but narrow, rigid, sulcate leaf about the same length. A small cluster of orange flowers borne on a few abbreviated racemes appears at the base of the leaf. As in some other species, the flowers appear superficially to be in a single flower fascicle. With time the very small fleshy warty flowers turn cinnabar-red. The lateral sepals are united into a semiorbicular retuse lamina, the margins of which evert to expose the thickened lip, while the dorsal sepal reflexes above. The sides of the lavellum below the middle are erect, and centrally there are a pair of rounded lamellae.

-- information provided by Jay Pfahl, author of the Internet Orchid Species Encyclopedia (IOSPE).
Other Names
Genus Name Genus Grex Name Year Author
Add+ Acianthera Acia obscura 2001 (A.Rich. & Galeotti) Pridgeon & M.W.Chase
Add+ Pleurothallis Pths bilamellata 1850 Rchb.f.
Add+ Pleurothallis Pths obscura 1845 A.Rich. & Galeotti
Add+ Humboltia Humboltia bilamellata 1891 (Rchb.f.) Kuntze
Most awarded/recent cultivars: Acia. obscura 'Hidden Wonder' (2008)
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