365 days of orchids – day 263 – Epidendrum radicans

Another orchid species that is always in flower in the greenhouse is Epidendrum radicans. This is a very unruly plant that grows long canes up to 2m long with terminal flower spikes that continue to produce flowers for more than a year.

We have seen the species growing in Costa Rica in wet secondary forest at around 1400m altitude where the plant starts life at or near the ground and then scrambles up through the scrub. It has an interesting habit of developing twisting flower spikes that cling onto surrounding plants both in the wild and in cultivation. The flower spike shown here is well away from the pot it was once in and provides an unexpected and welcome burst of colour amongst neighbouring plants.

The species is butterfly pollinated.


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