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SOPHRONITELLA

sophronitella
SOPHRONITELLA
Sophronitella
Sophronitella violacea

Sophronitella is a "Monotypic" genus in the Laeliinae that, regardless of the what the name may imply, is not very close to Sophronitis. Instead, it seems to be closer related to Isabelia, Pinelia and Constantia. Sophronitella violacea is a small plant, rarely more than 2" tall, with longitudinally keeled, fusiform and darkly pigmented pseudobulbs. Those are topped by two fairly thin leaves. The inflorescence is protected by a small sheath on top of the pseudobulb, and can produce more than one flower on a long succession, meaning that usually only one flower (or rarely 2) is open at a time. Those short inflorescences produce fairly large flowers (about 1" or slightly more across) for such a small plant. The flowers themselves are quite showy and very colorful, although the variation from plant to plant and even across populations seems to be almost zero. This means that, even with such a wide distribution range, the flowers look always about the same regardless of where the plants came from.

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