Epiphytic orchids

Epiphytic orchids


Epiphytic orchids are orchids that grow non-parasitically on trees, and derive their moisture and nutrients from the air and dampness (rain and cloud moisture) on the surface of the hosts. Epiphytic orchids are the main group of tropical orchids. They attach to their hosts high in the canopy to gain more light for photosynthesis. Roots are developed primarily for support. The roots also have a modified aerial root called velamen. The velamen is a thick layer of dead cells which cover the roots of epiphytic orchids. It is silvery gray or white in color when dry and usually more green when wet. It is capable of absorbing atmospheric moisture and nutrients.

Epiphytic orchids have roots that are often grown to hold tight to the surface of pots or potting material, exposed to the elements. They grow well in potting with a very open and free-draining material that is not soil. Pieces of brick, charcoal, fern root, wooden baskets, logs, tree stumps, or coconut fiber are good material to plant epiphytic orchids, as these material retain moisture but allow aeration, and they are long lasting. Epiphytic orchids are never half-buried under potting mixture, rather they sit right on top of it.

Abdominea

There is only one species, known as Abdominea minimiflora, also known as Tiny-flowered Abdominea.

Abdominea minimiflora is a monopodial epiphytic orchid in the family Orchidaceae. It is the sole species in the genus Abdominea, and is also known as Tiny-flowered Abdominea. The name Abdominea is derived from the Latin abdomen, meaning belly. It refers to the similarity with the shape of an abdomen and the labellum (lip) of an insect. This species of orchid is found in Thailand, Malaysia, Java and the Philippines. It bears an inflorescence of many small flowers, which is 0.45 cm across.

Acampe

A genus of epiphytic monopodial orchid found in Africa and Asia.

Barbrodria

A mini-miniature, creeping, mat forming epiphyte found growing the the rainforest in SE Brazil.

Barbrodria miersii is a species of orchid in the family Orchidaceae, and is the sole species in the genus Barbrodria. It is a mini-miniature, creeping, mat forming epiphyte found growing the the rainforest in SE Brazil. It has a creeping rhizome and bears a single flower on a 1.25 cm long petiole. Each flower is about 0.3 cm wide.

Dendrobium

One of the most popular and easy to grow epiphytic orchids.

Earina

A genus of mostly epiphytic orchids found in New Zealand, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Samoa and Fiji.

Epidendrum

Large genus of epiphytic orchids comprising 1100 species, distributed in North and South America.

Flickingeria

A genus of flowering orchids comprising about 75 species found in tropical Asia and Australasia.

Flickingeria is a genus of flowering orchids in the family Orchidaceae, comprising about 75 species. Flickingeria is abbreviated as Flkga in horticultural trade. The genus can be found in tropical Asia and Australasia, from Himalaya to Southeast Asia, Indonesia through New Guinea.

Flickingeria is an epiphyte with a creeping rhizome, or with a branched aerial stems ending in a pseudobulb. The inflorescence arises from the base of the leaf, and the flower lasts only for one day.

Isabelia

Epiphytic orchids comprising three species and one natural hybrid native to northeast of Brazil to Argentina.

Isabelia is a genus of epiphyte orchids in the family Orchidaceae, comprising three species and one natural hybrid. It is native to northeast of Brazil to Argentina.

Isabelia violacea is the largest and the most showy species of Isabelia. It has short rhizome, robust and erect pseudobulbs. It is the only species that bears more than one fully-opened flower per inflorescence, up to three flowers. The flower color and shape of this species are quite constant and each flower has a free labellum and eight pollinia.

Isabelia pulchella is the only species with elongated rhizome, and very spaced pseudobulbs with narrow and long concave leaves. It has four pollinia and a partially fused labellum forming a nectary.

Isabelia virginalis has pale pink, almost white flowers. It has short rhizome and dried stealth-covered pseudobulbs. The leaves are terete shape.

Laelia

Epiphytic orchid comprising about 11 species native to subtropical and temperate regions of Central America.

Laelia is a small genus of epiphytic orchids in the family Orchidaceae, comprising about 11 species. It is native to subtropical and temperate regions of Central America, mostly in Mexico. Laelia is abbreviated as L in horticultural trade.

Most Laelia species are epiphytes but some are lithophytes, such as Laelia anceps. Laelia species are closely related to Cattleya, only differing in the number of pollinia. Their stems are short, with ovate pseudobulbs, 6-30 cm long. Each pseudobulb produces one or two waxy, leathery leaves. Each leave can grow up to 20 cm long. The inflorescence is a raceme of 30 cm long, with up to eight flowers, growing from the apex of the the pseudobulb. The color of the orchid flowers is ranged from pink to purple with a darker shade lip which becoming white close to the column. The albino variety is a highly sought after and prized variety.

Laelia species are easy to cultivate, and some are highly drought-tolerant.

Neofinetia

A genus of 3 species of orchids native to the Far East countries of China, Korea and Japan.

Quekettia

A small genus of orchids from northern South America.

Paphinia

A genus of epiphytic orchids from South America.

Phalaenopsis

One of the most popular orchids, comprising about 60 species native throughout southeast Asia.

Restrepia

A genus of epiphytic orchids distributed from southern Mexico to northern Argentina.

Sarcochilus

A genus of orchids found in Australia including Tasmania, and in New Caledonia.

Sarcochilus is a genus of epiphytic or lithophytic orchids in the family Orchidaceae, comprising 15 species. Sarcochilus species are endemic to Northern Australia, Eastern Australia, Tasmania and New Caledonia. It is abbreviated as Sarco in horticultural trade. The genus Sarcochilus is derived from Greek words sarx (meaning flesh) and cheilos (means lip), in referring to the fleshy labellum of these orchids.

Warmingia

A small genus of orchids found in the rainforest of eastern Brazil.

Warmingia is a small genus of orchids in the family Orchidaceae, comprising about 4 species. Warmingia eugenii is an epiphyte which prefer growing in shade. It is native to eastern Brazil, growing in the rainforests. It has tiny pseudobulb of 2 cm long, and produces white, uneven-edged flowers in autumn.


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