Brassavola cuculata – 365 days of orchids – day 1675

Some students have recently noted that this species is a bit like a ghost with its pale flowers and drooping petals and of course it is evolved for the night and its Central American moth pollinators.

Brassavola cuculata always takes me back to the lowland forests of Guatemala where I first saw it growing in the wild . This terete leaved species is found through Central America and northern South America. In Guatemala we found it, on our school expedition in 2005, growing in dryish lowland forest near the ancient Mayan city of Yaxha. The plant below was flowering on the edge of a small cliff south of Laguna Yaxha attached to a fallen branch.


A nearby tree had been blown horizontal by hurricanes and so hung over the cliff with several seedlings of Brassavola cuculata growing along its trunk.

We find that the species grows best mounted or in baskets of open bark in good light in our Warm Americas section. The species is night scented to suit its moth pollinators.





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