September 13, 2010

Zootrophion endresianum

This interesting orchid species was purchased as Zootrophion gracilentum, but I am pretty certain that is not that species. The description of Zootrophion endresianum fits this species better.

The plant is about 20 cm tall and freely produces its strange and interesting flowers during the summer. The flowers are about 3 cm in size and only open little "windows" in the sides of the flower, through which the pollinating insect must crawl.

The name Zootrophion refers to the cage-like shape of the flowers with their little "windows." The name endresianum refers to a German orchid collector of the 19th century.  The species is from Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador and Colombia and tolerates a wide range of temperatures. It is considered by some to be synonymous with Zootrophion hypodiscus.

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