Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mystery Orchid

This orchid plant is growing nicely, quadrupled in size from last winter. It was a gift. Previously I speculated that it might be Dendrobium biggibum / Vappodes phaelenopsis, due to flowers that I mistakenly thought were on the source plant. I do think those flowers were Dendrobium phaelenopsis or hybrid thereof, but now have other thoughts about this plant. Until it blooms, if it blooms, it will be a wild guess. With the variability and endless variety of orchids, even when it blooms I may not know. I should just call it "Jovie's orchid".

The small section below the roots, was the original cutting. The rest has developed since that time, including the now-largest growth. Whatever I'm doing, it seems to like it for growth. Whether it will like it for flowers, I don't know. That's why I wanted to identify it.

I did find a similar plant on, link here. Even more, this link from "the lush garden within", a blog on More here. Due to copyright issues, I'm not copying those images, just linking. This does look like "Jovie's Orchid".

Image from wikimedia commons. This is identified as "Oerstedella centropetala"

Another wikimedia image, same species. describes these are winter blooming orchids. More information from "warm to intermediate-growing species native to Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama... grows at low elevations in wet montane forests on the Pacific slopes... 1,400 m altitude...wet and dry seasons succeed each other... also really good pic on, stating that these orchids grow in heavy shade. That would be good for an indoor plant. That site states these bloom in Spring.

Old sketch illustrating similar plant, also from wikimedia commons, labeled "Oerstedella centradenia and Oerstedella centropetala / Epidendrum centropetalum".

As with all things ortchid, "We'll see" is the appropriate concept. This may or may not turn out to be the correct ID, but it's interesting to learn about all orchids.


  1. Hi!
    My name is Zach, I'm just a random passer-by...

    I have been growing orchids for several years and it appears that what you have got there is an epidendrum. I can't really tell the variety without seeing the flowers though. Within the epidendrum classification there's gotta be about a zillion different kinds, but if you Google "Reed-stem epidendrum" it will at least get you pointed in the right direction. Have fun learning!
    **Also a warning, you WILL get addicted!**
    Take care,

  2. Zach, thanks for the comment. Too late, already addicted! I actually thought about reed stem epidendrum, and have one on my windowsill. If this ever blooms, we'll have a better idea. Thanks again! Feel free to comment.

  3. My grandmother loves orchids. Well, I can't blame her, they are like diamonds with stones in the garden. I remember her being so strict, not allowing us to touch her plants. Matter of fact, I gave an orchid flower to my wife during our 1st date.