Giant Orchid (Pteroglossaspis ecristata)

Florida orchids are so unique and, at times, tough to find. Some orchids are small, and some can grow up to three feet tall, like this Giant Orchid. Some grow from the ground (terrestrial), and some grow on trees (epiphytes). Each one has its own uniqueness and design; reasons for those characteristics would be an exciting adventure to explore.

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The Giant Orchid is a threatened species in the state of Florida. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

September 1961 was the earliest specimen collected in Florida and the fall season is their time to shine. When the flower begins to bloom, it’s no bigger than the size of your thumbnail, and as it grows, the bloom may exceed over 2 inches and reach over 3 feet in height. As winter sets in the orchid will dry up.

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Hiding within the saw palmettos | Photo by Alice Mary Herden

They can be very hard to find because they can blend, just like many plant species, within their surrounding environment. The Giant Orchid (Orthochilus ecristatus) only grows in the southeastern parts of the United States. 

Due to their conservation status, if you do happen to come across them, please be gentle, kind, and obscured.

Stay safe!

 


Links

https://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2417

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PTEC2

http://www.flnativeorchids.com/natives_gallery/pteroglossaspis_ecristata.htm

 

 

Click to access Pteroglossaspis_ecristata.pdf

 

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