Common Name: Lady of the Night
Habitat: Brassavola nodosa is native to Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and Venezuela. It is quite common along the Gulf Coast of Mexico where it is found growing below 500 meters. This species is also found growing on the Pacific Coast of the Mexican state of Chiapas. Trees, mangroves, and coastal cliffs are where the plants are found growing. There is a pronounced winter dry season.
Plant Size: Medium. The pseudobulbs are slender and have fleshy terete leaves that are shallowly notched. Pseudobulbs grow to 6 inches (15 cm) tall and the overall height of the plant reaches up to 18 inches (45 cm). Leaves grow 4 inches to 12 inches long (10-30 cm) and are quite narrow.
Flower Size: 3.5 inches (8 cm)
Flower Description: Fragrant at night. The flowers of Brassavola nodosa has narrow, pointed petals and sepals that are olive green. The lip is white and heart-shaped with a non-frilly margin. Flowers are fragrant at night. The 6 inch (15 cm) flower spike produces between one and six long-lasting flowers.
Bloom Season: Spring. Sometimes twice a year.
Growing Temperature: Warm, Intermediate
Additional Information: Brassavola nodosa is an easy-to-grow orchid that is great for beginners and rewarding for experienced growers. Medium to bright light is required (2500-3500 footcandles). Provide high humidity and good air circulation. Brassavola nodosa is best grown mounted on wood, cork plaques, or tree fern mounts. Provide ample water and fertilizer during the growing season and cut back water during the winter.
This species has been extensively used in producing easy-to-grow hybrids. Many people start off with this species and its hybrids because they are easy to grow and flower more than once a year.
Synonyms: Bletia nodosa; Bletia rhopalorrhachis; Brassavola gillettei; Cymbidium nodosum; Epidendrum nodosum