Dracula dodsonii is an epiphytic orchid in the genus Dracula.
Dracula dodsonii is typical of Dracula section Dodsonia: the plant has a successively flowered upright inflorescence and a slight to pronounced upwardly creeping growth habit. The lip of the bloom has an indistinct separation between hypochile and epichile, and the epichile is flat and undeveloped for a Dracula.
Dracula dodsonii has been known since the 50s, particularly in the area of Mt. Pichincha near Quito, Ecuador, but seems to have disappeared from the wild. Originally it was thought to favor newly colonized slopes such as would be found along new road cuts. However, local orchid growers report finding Dracula dodsonii deep within the same dark, wet cloud forests favored by other Draculas (M. Navarro, personal communication to G. Meyer). Theories that it was representative of a hybrid swarm are not supported by genetic studies (Meyer and Cameron, manuscript in preparation).
Dracula dodsonii is rare in cultivation and has been resistant to attempts at seed propagation. The problem seems to be, at least in part, slow growth. Plants in cultivation persist and bloom regularly. It requires the same cool, moist, shady, breezy conditions needed by most Draculas.
Etymology: Named for Calaway Dodson, a botanist renowned as an expert on Ecuadorian orchids, who had been familiar with this species for many years before its formal description.
Common name: Dodson's Dracula
- Hermans, Johan & Clare. Orchid Digest special publication: An Annotation Checklist on the Genus Dracula. Orchid Digest Corp., 1997.