Epidendrum centropetalum – 365 days of orchids – day 1526

We have had this lovely small growing species in our collection for 28 years and each year it delivers these lovely clusters of pink flowers that last from February through to early April.

We feel that this is an orchid no one should be without. It is a strong growing little plant that flowers at the ends of short canes each spring and over time it becomes a beautiful mass of roots and stems.

The species is native to Central America where it grows from 1200-1500m in coolish evergreen or semi evergreen forest. We find that it is not fussy about temperature – it grows well in Cool Asia, Cool Americas, Warm Americas and Warm Asia but it does enjoy air to its roots (mounted or in very open bark compost) and plenty of water.

It has the advantage of propagating really easily – either by seed (and we have seedlings flowering just 1 year out of flask) or by division as it produces lots of small plants on its older stems as it grows.

We have done more label changing with this plant that most. In 1993 our plant arrived as Epidendrum centropetalum but it changed to Oerstedella centropetala soon afterwards as Epidendrum was split. A further change to Oerstedella centradenia followed, but from recent molecular studies it has returned to Epidendrum, and is once again Epidendrum centropetala. The plants don’t seem to mind what we call them.


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