Encyclia altissima

Common Name: Very Tall Encyclia

Habitat: Encyclia altissima is native to some islands in the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean Sea. These plants grow at very low elevation (less than 10 meters above sea level) and they receive very little rainfall. The daytime humidity can be as low as 5 percent. They are found growing on cacti and on the stems of small, bushy shrubs. Some grow on coral rocks.

Plant Size: Large. Encyclia altissima has tall, upright pseudobulbs that have two or three stiff, reddish leaves. The plants are large in size.

Flower Size: Small.

Flower Description: The small, fragrant flowers are produced on a very tall (up to 4 meters) unbranched inflorescence. One stem can have up to 200 flowers. The flowers of Encyclia altissima smell like a combination of honey and beeswax.

Bloom Season: Late Winter

Growing Temperature: Warm to Hot

Additional Information: This is a challenging species to grow because it is adapted to a very hot, dry environment unlike most other orchids. It should be watered very sparingly and only occasionally and probably could be treated like a cactus. Watch for fungus. Provide bright light, air circulation, and low humidity.

Synonyms: Epidendrum altissimum; Epidendrum hodgeanum; Encyclia hodgeana


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