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Dryadella simula vs D. elata

Discussion in 'Orchid Identification Section' started by Alfonso Doucette, Aug 3, 2014.

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  1. Alfonso Doucette

    Alfonso Doucette Active Member

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    I bought a bunch of plants from Andy's Orchids a few weeks ago and he sent me a bonus Dryadella whose identity he was unsure of. He thought the plant was Dryadella elata but it turns out to be Dryadella simula. The easiest way to distinguish the two are the petal and column morphology. D. elata has downward pointing teeth on the column, and prominent petals that stick out of the tubular base of the calyx. Both of those characters are absent from D. simula. I came to this ID after using Carl Luer's key to the species. The key was a little tricky because the numbering in the second half is one off, but I'm pretty sure I keyed the plant out correctly:

    1' Mature leaf not less than 3 mm wide
    13 Mature leaf more than 25 mm long
    31' Dorsal sepal with apex acuminate to caudate (if you select couplet 31 here you get D. elata)
    38' Dorsal sepal not with tail 1 mm long, 1 mm thick (my plant measures 2.1 x 0.7)
    39' Column without a descending tooth
    42 Dorsal sepal acuminate into an acute tip or tail shorter than the blade
    43 Mature leaf usually more than 4 cm long (my plant: 6.5 cm long)
    44' Peduncle less than 1 cm long (my plant: 1 cm long)
    this is where the couplet numbers are off, I think 44' leads to 45 though
    45' Sepals not minutely caudate; petals not pubescent
    46' Lateral sepals contracted into short tails
    47 Petals obliquely truncate at the apex with a lobule on the lower margin... D. simula

    My plant:
    Dryadella simula.jpg

    Luer's Illustrations:
    Dryadella elata vs D simula.jpg
     
  2. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Is your plant somewhat like a climber? Green lip with purple spots? I have had such a plant for years and it came as simula but I never feel comfortable with the ID. It grows like weeds....

    Love your photo of the dissected flower.
     
  3. Alfonso Doucette

    Alfonso Doucette Active Member

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    Thanks! My plant forms a tight clump. There is one species called Dryadella dodsonii that has sort of a climbing habit: http://www.orchidspecies.com/drydodsoni.htm


    of your plant? Dryadella dosonii.jpg
     
  4. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Alfonso. I will look into you suggestion. It looks like a good candidate but the lip is little different. I might have to dissect the flower and see what I have.
     
  5. Alfonso Doucette

    Alfonso Doucette Active Member

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    Cool! I would love to know what you find out. It seems like lip morphology in these plants can be variable, and illustrations can also be misleading. Luer worked from rehydrated specimens frequently so the lip in the illustration I shared of D. dodsonii may not be 100% accurate. I think the growth habit is pretty distinctive though! I think D. dodsonii is the only species reported with a climbing habit.
     
  6. nikkik

    nikkik Active Member

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    That is fantastic, Alfonso! I also appreciate your detailed description of the plant.
     
    Alfonso Doucette likes this.