Monday, January 24, 2011

Scaphosepalum gibberosum

This plant has some of the oddest flowers of any orchid.  Even the names are an attempt to describe some of the peculiarities of this plant and its relatives.  Scaphosepalum means "fused sepals" and gibberosum refers to the hump-like swellings on the flower stem.

The plant is 20 cm tall, but the flower spikes continue to grow, producing a succession of flowers at widely-spaced intervals and growing as long as 50 cm.  The flowers are about 5 cm and can only be described with a picture they are so odd.

The plant is from Colombia and from high altitudes in the Andes, requiring cool temperatures and high humidity.  My plant grows in a net pot in live sphagnum moss and is in bloom nearly the year around.  It requires some space, however, because of the long flower spikes.


  1. Yes, truly an odd looking thing! ;) First time I have seen it, but I love it!!

  2. I am going to have to trade it off, since the flower spikes get far too long for my limited space, but I do so with a great deal of regret.

  3. How sad that you cannot keep it, but at least you got to see it bloom once. I am lucky to have such a large viv. that can accommodate growth habits like this too. I hope you get something fun in trade for it.

  4. The good thing about trading off something too large is that you can fit two or three tiny things into the space!