Sertifera is a small orchid genus consisting of nine species distributed in Andean regions of Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. Representatives of the genus are erect, slender plants growing terrestrially, rarely as epiphytes or lithophytes. In habit, the plants resemble Sobralia and Elleanthus species. However, flowers, especially the lip, of Sertifera are unique and make the genus different from all others. No previous comprehensive treatment of the genus exists, and the only key for determining Sertifera species was published by Garay in 1978, involving Ecuadorean taxa exclusively. Here we present the first key including all species of the genus, along with available details concerning morphology, distribution, and ecology. Based on differences in lip morphology and flower arrangement, the genus is divided into three sections; Sertifera, Aurantiacae, and Racemosae. Sertifera gracilis, discovered by Reichenbach, is validated. Sertifera risaraldana is described as a new species.
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Vol. 39 • No. 1