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Blue-Green Orchid

Dichaea glauca


There are truly peculiar Orchids in the world and this is one of them. It lacks pseudo bulbs and has leaves that more resemble a succulent or fern than an Orchid. I didn't believe it was an orchid until it bloomed. The flowers are small (about 8 mm) pale with magenta spots. They emerge on small stalks from the leaflet axels, with 20 or more along the lower ends of each leaf. The leaves can reach up to 60 cm in length, are somewhat rubbery and are an unusual shade of blue green, hence the common name. The Pollinia start out pale yellow and darken to almost orange within a few days. The flowers have scarcely any odor, day or night. This species can be both an epiphyte or found on the ground. The roots are both interred and aerial as in other orchids.


I bought this plant from an Indian lady who had brought it down from the mountains above San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. I had never seen it before and didn't really believe her that it was an orchid. This is native to southern Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, in humid forest up to 2,400 meters. After a few days, buds formed along the leaves and it began to flower around the 15th of June. It flowers from June through September.


Pictures of this species on the internet have some variation in flower coloring, from completely white to some spotting. This one is quite beautiful with its bright magenta spots. All however, have the same unusual shade of blue green to the leaves. Orquídeas de Chiapas by Teresa Cabrera Cachón, Consejo Estatal de la Cultura y las Artes de Chiapas, 195 pp. 1999. See this last reference for D. glauca and other beautiful species of Dichaea:

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LaurenZarate 5 years ago

Thank you Sarah! It really is an amazing Orchid!

SarahWhitt 5 years ago

Such tiny lil flowers!! VERY UNIQUE!! You took a chance & WOW - nice payoff, indeed!! :)

Spotted by

Chiapas, Mexico

Spotted on Jun 2, 2017
Submitted on Jun 19, 2017

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