Common name: Dove Orchid, Holy Ghost Orchid
Botanical name: Peristeria elata Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Dove Orchid is an interesting orchid native to Latin America. The origin
of its name is easy to see from flower which reminds one of a dove sitting
in the nest. It is a large sized, terrestrial or lithophytic orchid. It
has clustered, large, ovoid or conical pseudobulbs enveloped basally by
imbricate, papery sheaths with the upper 2 being leaf bearing and carrying
3-5 apical, plicate, braodly lanceshaped to elliptic, pointed to
long-pointed leaves, gradually narrowing below into a short stalked base.
It has a rigidly erect, up to 4.5 ft long, basal inflorescence with 10-15,
bellshaped, roundish, waxy flowers. Flowers appear on a new growth and
open as the pseudobulb has matured but before the leaves drop. The flowers
opens successively over a long period with many (10-20), highly scented,
waxy, cup-shaped flowers, but only 4-6 open at any one time.
Dove Orchid is the national flower of Panama.
Identification credit: R. Narayan