Prosthechea prismatocarpa – 365 days of orchids – day 1266

This wonderful species from Central America is a large growing member of the cattleya family that produces long spikes of dramatic flowers. The flowers are butterfly pollinated with the pink section of the lip the perfect shape for a large butterfly to grab hold of.

We have seen this species growing in Costa Rica where we found it in tall remnant trees on cloudy ridges at around 1500m. The trees had Masdevallia rolfeana growing on their trunks and, not surprisingly, we find that the two species do well close to each other in our Cool Americas section but with Prosthechea prismatocarpa growing a little brighter and dryer as it grows higher in the Coata Rican trees.

We have two varieties of the species; the clone above is Prosthechea prismatocarpa ‘Writhglington’ which has larger  ‘tall’ flowers, longer spikes and darker markings than the more usual variety below with slightly smaller, ‘wide’ flowers and a more spreading habit.

Here are the two flowers next to each other for comparison with “Writhlington’ on the right.

We have some young divisions of the Writhlington variety for sale on the shop.


Join the Discussion


  1. David Thompson says:

    I have one like this but the flower colour is nearer to being green , only turning to yellow when approaching the end of its flowering .The brown spots are the same , but with my plant the pink area is dark brown .I bought this as a “seedling “many years ago when The Leopard Orchid Project linked Hillier Garden Centres with GABON and Writhlington School near bath” .Could you please give me the name to my orchid as I’ve lost the box with the info ?

  2. Nita says:

    Im about the get one of these shipped to me. Please tell me if I should use mall bark or medium sized bark.

  3. Sally says:

    Hi. I now understand that I have this orchid raised from a seedling some 5 years but no flowers ever! Massive size now with many cramped new bulbs which when mature send out flimsy new leaf which witheres away. It’s in large bark recently repotted Any advice ?