John&Jacq~s Garden

Epidendrum orchids: so diverse, yet easiest to grow!

Epidendrum species (Epi, Epidendrum Orchid, Crucifix Orchid, Reed-stem Epidendrum, Star Orchid)

How enormous and diverse the genus Epidendrum L. is! It consists of about 1,100 species of orchids that are native to tropical and subtropical Americas and the Caribbean. Now though, it is widely distributed, naturalized and cultivated in many regions worldwide.

The more popular and captivating species are the commonly named Crucifix Orchids. They produce large clusters of attractive flowers, each flower displaying a significant three-lobed lip, adnate to the column and resembling a cross, hence the common name. The blooms are so varied, absolutely stunning and uniquely gorgeous in many colors and form!

We first saw one with vibrant red blooms, Epidendrum cinnabarinum, in May 2007 at a local orchid nursery along the Rawang-Batang Berjuntai Road, about 50 km away or an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur.

We were mesmerized but to purchase a flowering plant that costs RM150 is simply ridiculous. We were not prepared to dent our pockets for just a single plant, however tempting it be!

Instead, a very young 8-inch tall plant was purchased after being convinced by the seller that it was of the same kind. And, it costs only one-tenth the price of the flowering plant!

Almost two years down the road, when our orchid plant finally matured and flowered for the first time, it was an orange beauty instead! Aargh…we were duped!

Nonetheless, though we felt a tinge of disappointment initially, this lovely orange Epidendrum x obrienianum delighted us so with non-stop blooming, progressively over a long period that extended to about two and a half months. Sheer pleasure, indeed! :)

And, a note of thanks and appreciation to Dr. Neil Lancaster, RHS Botanist, Wisley for his kind assistance in identifying this epi hybrid for us.

Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :

Some popular Epidendrum species :
Epidendrum calanthum (Beautiful Blooming Epidendrum)

Epidendrum cinnabarinum (Vermilion Epidendrum)

Epidendrum cristatum (Comb Epidendrum)

Epidendrum fulgens (Sparkling Epidendrum)

Epidendrum ibaguense (Ibague Epidendrum)

Epidendrum radicans (Ground-rooting Epidendrum)

Epidendrum stamfordianum (Stamford’s Epidendrum)

Popular Epidendrum hybrid :
Epidendrum x obrienianum (O’brien’s Star Orchid)

Other external links:

Last edit: June 2, 2016