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This species is accepted, and its native range is SE. Brazil.


De Brito, A. (2007). A Taxonomic Revision of the Genus Phymatidium (Orchidaceae: Oncidiinae). Kew Bulletin, 62(4), 529-560. Retrieved from

Brazil: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais.
Epiphytic on trees in the rain forest at higher altitudes. Alt. 1400 - 2000 m.
Morphology General Habit
Plant up to c. 40 mm tall, usually forming an intricate clump
Morphology Leaves
Leaves up to c. 25 x 1 mm, falcate, somewhat twisted, semi terete to slightly 3-angled in cross-section at the middle, oval towards the apex, slightly sheathing and obscurely decurrent at base, the apex acute
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers usually resupinate, white with green centre
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Lateral sepals 4- 5 x 0.5 - 1 mm, obliquely linear-lanceolate or obliquely ovate lanceolate, falcate, strongly reflexed and usually curved upwards, acute to somewhat obtuse, abaxially slightly carinate Dorsal sepal 3.5 - 4.5 x 0.5 - 1 mm, linear-lanceolate, narrowly ovate-lanceolate, usually inflexed and somewhat hooded, slightly concave, acute to slightly obtuse, abaxially weakly carinate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Column
Column 1.5 - 2 mm long (excluding the tabula infrastigmatica), strongly incurved or geniculate near the middle, distinctly sigmoid at apex, sulcate underneath; stigmatic cavity somewhat ovate to elliptic, placed at the base of the column; rostellum occasionally entire, usually obscurely or distinctly 3 lobed, the lateral lobes spathulate, somewhat diverging, usually exceeding in size the rostellum midlobe; tabula infrastigmatica c. 1.5 mm long, with a central, usually narrow and acute callus, nose-shaped in side view, adaxially convex, flat or slightly sulcate, and flanked at base by two lateral, fleshy auricles or arm-like appendages which are variable in shape and size; anther c. 1.5 mm long, narrowly ovate to somewhat clavate, hooded, distinctly beaked and somewhat recurved towards the apex, acute; pollinia arranged into two superposed, usually slightly unequal pairs, clavate; stipe c. 1 mm long, somewhat spathulate, slightly convex, the base somewhat curved, the apex obtuse; viscidium small, elliptic to ovate, slightly concave
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Lip 4.5 - 5 x 2.5 - 4 mm, strongly deflexed, somewhat panduriform, sub-quadrate towards the base, rhombic from the middle towards the apex, distinctly acuminate, rather convex; margins dentate, erose or crenulate at middle of the lip, becoming entire towards the base and the apex; base provided with a thick, concave, usually erect, broadly ligulate or broadly ovate callus which is glandular within and usually emarginate at apex, projecting beyond the main callus there is a fleshy, usually erect and cuneate lamella which is usually emarginate, erose or denticulate and retrorse at apex Petal 3 - 4.5 x 1 - 1.2 mm, linear, linear-lanceolate or narrowly ovate, usually inflexed or spreading and erect, acute to obtuse, abaxially slightly carinate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary c. 0.5 mm long, obscurely angular
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pedicel
Pedicel 3 - 4 mm long, somewhat twisted, slightly angular, inconspicuously papillose on the angles
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule c. 4 x 3 mm, subglobose, obscurely ridged, the pedicel c. 5 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences few to several, up to c. 65 mm long, few to c. 10-flowered, racemose; peduncle up to c. 25 mm long, 3-angled in cross-section, slightly zig-zag, covered by several fleshy, falcate, slightly concave, subulate sterile bracts, up to c. 5 x 0.5 mm, acute, more or less semi-terete in cross-section; rachis up to c. 40 mm long, usually slightly zig-zag, angular in cross-section; floral bracts similar to the sterile ones, decreasing in size towards the apex of inflorescence
Morphology Roots
Roots many, scattered throughout the stem, terete, thick, glabrous, flexuous, usually quite long and forming an intricate clump of many roots
Morphology Stem
Stem up to c. 25 mm long, usually inconspicuous
Phymatidium mellobarretoi can easily be recognised by its lip and column morphology. The distinctive panduriform lip has a peculiar lamella which projects beyond the main callus of the lip, while the usually geniculate column shows a strongly sigmoid apex, a character also shared by P. limae and P. vogelii. The apex of the column is extended into a conspicuous, usually 3-lobed rostellum. The tabula infrastigmatica is quite variable in shape; in some specimens the median, longitudinal callus is very narrow and acute, while in others it is thick and obtuse. At the base of the tabula infrastigmatica, near the stigmatic cavity, there are two fleshy, erect appendages which are also variable in size and shape. In most specimens studied, these look like erect ears flanking the central callus at the base, whereas in others they are narrower and have an arm-like shape similar to those found on the tabula infrastigmatica of P. limae. In Brade 20626 (RB), the rostellum is entire, while the two appendages on the tabula infrastigmatica are also arm-like in shape. The column morphology of this specimen seems to be intermediate between P. mellobarretoi and P. limae, the latter having the rostellum lateral lobes reduced to two small teeth and the two lateral appendages on the tabula infrastigmatica shaped like arms. Nevertheless, all its other floral segments are like those of P. mellobarretoi. Named after Dr. Henrique Mello Barreto.
Brazil, Minas Gerais, Municipality of Aiuruoca, between Serra do Bispo and Serra da Cangalha, 20 June 1943, Mendes Magalhães 2849 (holotype SP!, isotype MO!).

Native to:

Brazil Southeast

Phymatidium mellobarretoi L.O.Williams & Hoehne appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Toscano de Brito, A. [292], Brazil 74486.000
Toscano de Brito, A. [325], Brazil 74500.000
Toscano de Brito, A. [959], Brazil 73540.000
Miller, D. [s.n.], Brazil 74581.000

First published in Arq. Bot. Estado São Paulo, n.s., f.m., 2: 92 (1947)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Toscano de Brito, A.L.V. (2007). A taxonomic revision of the genus Phymatidium (Orchidaceae: Oncidiinae) Kew Bulletin 62: 529-560.


Kew Bulletin

  • Miller, D. & Warren, R. (1996). Orquídeas do Alto da Serra da Mata Atlántica Pluvial do Sudeste do Brasil. Salamandra Consultoria Editorial Ltda. Rio de Janeiro.
  • Pabst, G. F. J. & Dungs, F. (1977). Orchidaceae Brasilienses, Vol. 2. Brucke-Verlag Kurt Schmersow, Hildesheim.
  • Williams, L. O. & Hoehne, F. C. (1947). Urna nova especie de Phymatidium do Brasil. Arq. Bot. Estado São Paulo 2: 92.

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Toscano de Brito, A.L.V. (2007). A taxonomic revision of the genus Phymatidium (Orchidaceae: Oncidiinae) Kew Bulletin 62: 529-560.

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Bulletin
Kew Bulletin

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.