Encyclia altissima Schltr. 1914

Plant and Flowers Photo by Luis A Borges Ochoa (Cuba)

another flower Photo by Rick Cirino

Fragrance LATE

Common Name The Very Tall Encyclia [A reference to the plant height]

Flower Size 2" [5 cm]

Found in Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands, Haiti and Cuba in xerophytic, low woody, bushy and cacti coppices at the base of trees and the roots anchored onto it and into the coral below at elevations under 10 meters as a giant sized, hot to warm growing litho-epiphyte with upright, reddish, tall pseudobulbs carrying 2 to 3 apical, erect, stiff leaves from which the plant blooms in the late winter on a terminal, erect, paniculate, several to many [to 200] flowered, 10 to 16' [3 to 4 meters] long, twining inflorescence with super fragrant, highly variable flowers reminiscent of honey and beeswax.

This species needs to be grown like a cactus, especially in the winter as it occurs in an area that has 40 to 60% humidity through the night and 5 to 10% through the daylight hours. The area has very little real rainfall so watering like any other Encyclia will cause major fungus amongus.

Synonyms *Epidendrum altissimum Bateman 1838; Epidendrum hodgeanum Hawkes 1956; Encyclia hodgeana [Hawkes] Beckner 1970

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Symbolae Antillanae Vol VI Orchidaceae Urban 1909 as Epidendrum altissimum; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965 as Epidendrum hodgeanum; Cattleyas and Their Relatives Withner Vol 4 1996 photo fide; Orchidaceae Antillanae Nir 2000 drawing fide; Orchid Digest Vol 73 #2 2009 photo fide; Orchid Flora of the Greater Antilles Ackerman 2014