WSBEorchids

Epidendrum paniculatum – 365 days of orchids – day 1736

Exploring the forests of Costa Rica on our school expeditions we have been fascinated by the diversity of epidendrum species we have come across. This small growing species is a classic butterfly pollinated species that both provides a nectar filled tube at the base of the lip, and a grabbing platform at the end of the lip.

We were fortunate to observe a glass wing butterfly pollinating the similar Epidendrum piliatum in Costa Rica on our last school expedition (photo below). Epidendrum paniculatum is also a classic butterfly pollinated species that both provides a nectar filled tube at the base of the lip, and a grabbing platform at the end of the lip.

Epidendrum paniculatum is a lovely species and as traditionally described was found throughout Central and South America in cool wet forest above 1000m but the complex (group of similar species) has been split into several species with the true Epidendrum paniculatum being endemic to Peru.

We grow the species in baskets and it flowers from small plants 15cm high with a few flowers and when taller produces many flowers on branched spikes.

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