AKA: Epidendrum nodosum L., Brassavola venosa Lindl., B. rhopalorrhachis Reichb. f.
ORIGIN/HABITAT: Widespread in Mexico along the Gulf of Mexico coast southward from Tampico, with plants also found on the Pacific coast in the state of Chiapas. The habitat continues south through Central America along both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, and extends into northern Venezuela and Colombia. Collections have also been reported on islands in the West Indies. Plants are found in low lying coastal regions, generally below 1640 ft. (500 m), growing on either trees in lowland tropical forests and mangrove swamps, or on exposed rocks and cliffs near the shore.
PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A clump forming epiphyte or lithophyte that may reach a height of 15-18 in. (38-46 cm), but is often shorter. The connecting rhizome between growths is usually short, and established plants tend to start several new growths. Consequently, specimen plants are easily grown.
PSEUDOBULBS: Instead of pseudobulbs, plants have short slender stems up to 6 in. (15 cm) long that are concealed by scarious tubular sheaths.
LEAVES: A single leaf is produced on each growth. Leaves are extremely variable in size and shape, ranging from 4 to 12 in. (10-30 cm) long and from 1/8 to 3/4 in. (0.3-1.8 cm) wide. The grey-green leaves are usually erect, very fleshy, grooved on the upper surface, and often appear subterete or semicylindrical.
INFLORESCENCE: 1 per growth. The erect inflorescence is about 8 in. (20 cm) long and arise from the leaf axil as the new growth matures.
FLOWERS: 1-6 on each inflorescence. The long-lived flowers, which are very fragrant at night, are usually about 3.5 in. (9 cm) across, but may reach nearly 6 in. (15 cm). Sepals and petals are long and slender, do not spread widely, and vary in color from pale green or yellowish to nearly pure white. The large lip is tubular at the base, then opens opens widely, producing a heart-shaped terminal area that may be as large as 2 in. (5 cm) across. The lip is white and often marked with purple or dark red spotting inside the tube.
Culture: Plant prefer dry outs when pseudobulbs complete growth. Water about once every week. Fertilize about once every two weeks during growing season. Plant grows in medium to bright light and intermediate to warm temperatures. Pot in perlite and medium bark or in full sphagnum moss. Plant is best grown mounted. 4