Epidendrum parkinsonianum – 365 days of orchids – day 1200


For our 1200th orchid of the day we have another of our wow species.

Epidendrum parkinsonianum is a species we are particularly fond of, since finding it in the volcanic mountains of Costa Rica, and over the past 20 years, growing this wonderful specimen in our Cool Americas Section.

In Costa Rica we found the species in the forests clothing the Poas volcano, where it grows at around 1200m altitude, hanging on the trunks and main branches of trees near rivers. The forest here is cool and wet, and the plants growth habit means that it grown in quite deep shade.

This habitat surprised us as we had previously assumed from the thick terete leaves that it needs a dry bright environment. Moving the plant into cool shady conditions in our Cool Americas section (minimum 12C) in 2007 has resulted in much better growth and heavy flowering. We keep the plant damp throughout the year.

Interestingly we have another clone which is quite different with shorter leaves and smaller flowers. We have found that this clone prefers to grow warmer in our Warm Americas section, which is also brighter. Perhaps there are distinct populations of the species in Costa Rica evolved for slightly different climates.


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