Phragmipedium pearcei var. ecuadorense (Garay)Cash ex Gruss
in Die Orchidee 45(5): 207-208, 1994.

Basionym :
   Phragmipedium ecuadorense Garay in Orchidaceae 225(1) in Flora of Ecuador 9, 1979.

Type :

Synonyms :
   Phragmipedium ecuadrense (probably a writing error) in Kohji, Orchideen-Atlas 1: 212 and t. 75, 1897.
   Phragmipedium pearcei var. ecuadorense Mentioned like this, but not officially recombined (nomen nudem), in Cash, Catherine ,,Slipper Orchids", 149, 1991 and Gruss in ,,Die Orchidee" 42(5), Orchideenkartei page 666, 1991.

Varieties :

Etymology :

Plant :
Leaves :
Inflorescence :
Flower : The staminode is hart-shaped with extensive pubescence on the basal edge.

Habitat : The plants in Ecuador grow just several meters above the river on vertical rock cliffs.

Distribution : Ecuador and Peru. In Ecuador this species can be found along the Rio Aguarico between Dureno and Santa Cecilia.

Flowering season :

Chromosomes : 2n = 22 (Karasawa, 1980).

History : Locally the plants of this species are boiled and used against stomach problems. The local names for this species are shatifase'he'-pa and topa-sö-he-ha.

Comments : This taxon shows very little difference from Phrag. pearcei and almost every possible intermediate form of the determinating characteristic, the pubescence of the staminode, is present.
Research into the alkaloid-levels in both taxa by F. Stermitz and L. Hegedus shows a very distinct difference, because only in Phrag. pearcei could alkaloids be identified. But to use this to justify the placement of Phrag. ecuadorense as a separate species is not meaningful (Gruss, 1994).
Lucille McCook was, in her two part series in the AOS Bulletin, one of the first to merge pearcei and ecuadorense into one species. Closely there after Calaway H. Dodson and John T. Atwood in their article in the AOS Bulletin in 1992 followed her by expressing that, to their opinion, Phrag. ecuadorense is just a synonym for the very variable species Phrag. pearcei.

In the registration of orchid-hybrids by the RHS, Phrag. ecuadorense has been recognized as a separate species for some time, resulting in the registration of several hybrids. However in the Supplement of New Orchid Hybrids, Vol. 111 No. 1252, July - August 2003, in the Registrar's Notes-section Mr. Julian Shaw reports that the database has been amended to reduce Phrag. ecuadorense Garay to synonymy under Phrag. pearcei (Rchb.f.)Rauh & Senghas. Consequently several registered hybrids are now reduced to grex synonyms. However in the same Registrar's Notes-section the following is text can be found: "As Christenson points out, some of the grex parents registered under the name Phrag. ecuadorense may in fact represent Phrag. richteri or another similar natural hybrid. Anyone who can confirm a re-identification for the parent of a registered grex listed above is asked to contact the Registrar so that the Register may be corrected. This may well result in the re-instatement of some of the above synonyms."

It is said that plants under the name of Phrag. ecuadorense 'Birchwood' may be natural hybrids.

Hybrids :
   Phrag. pearcei var. ecuadorense
      x Phrag. besseae = Phrag. Ecua-Bess
      x Phrag. boissierianum = Phrag. Taras
      x Phrag. caudatum = Phrag. Toyoki Kawatsura
      x Phrag. caudatum var. warscewiczianum = Phrag. Mini Grande
      x Phrag. lindleyanum = Phrag. Dragon Fire
      x Phrag. lindleyanum var. kaieteurum = Phrag. Norvin Olivas
      x Phrag. lindleyanum var. sargentianum = Phrag. La Moye
      x Phrag. schlimii = Phrag. Tickled Pink
      x Phrag. Cardinale = Phrag. Fancy Free
      x Phrag. Eric Young = Phrag. Bird's Delight
      x Phrag. Grande = Phrag. Shizuko Kawatsura
      x Phrag. Hanne Popow = Phrag. Katahdin Sunset
      x Phrag. Nitidissimum = Phrag. Simon Marcotte
      x Phrag. Olaf Gruss = Phrag. Memoria Ruth Omeis
      x Phrag. Sorcerer's Apprentice = Phrag. Richard Lemay