!Peristeria elata Hooker 1831

TYPE for the genus

Photo by Copyright Jay Pfahl

Another Flower

Photo by David Jubineau Copyright

Flower and Inflorescence

Photo by Dr. Leslie Garay Copyright , Leslie Garay Archives


Common Name Dove Orchid or Holy Ghost Orchid - The Stately Peristeria

Flower Size 2" [5 cm]

Found in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Venzuela in shaded grassland edges and stone outcrops in tropical wet forests at elevations of 100 to 700 meters as a large sized, warm to hot growing terrestrial or lithophytic orchid from with clustered, large, ovoid or conical pseudobulbs enveloped basally by imbricate, papery sheaths with the upper 2 being leaf bearing and carrying 3 to 5 apical, plicate, broadly lanceolate to elliptic, acute or acuminate, gradually narrowing below into the conduplicate short petiolate base leaves that blooms in the summer on a rigidly erect, to 4 1/2' [135 cm] long, basal, successively 4 to 6, 10 to 20 flowered inflorescence carrying campanulate, subglobose, waxy flowers appearing on a new growth and opening as the pseudobulb has matured but before the leaves drop.

The flowers open successively over a long period with many, highly citrus scented, waxy, cup-shaped flowers.

This is the national flower of Panama and is commonly called the 'Dove Orchid' or 'Holy Ghost Orchid' and it is easy to see the dove sitting on the nest within the flower.

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Bonplandia Rchb.f 1854; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915; Atlas des Orchidees Cultivees Constantin 1920 drawing fide; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 17: 60. Panama Schlechter 1922; AOS Bulletin Vol 15 # 9 1946 photo fide; The Orchids of Panama L.O. Williams & P Allen 1946 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin VOl 27 No 1 1958 drawing FIDE; AOS Bulletin Vol 26 No 2 1957; AOS Bulletin Vol 27 No 6 1958; Venezuelan Orchids Vol 3 Dunsterville & Garay 1965 drawing fide; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; AOS Bulletin Vol 38 No 12 1969 drawing fide; Flora de Venezuela Volumen XV Part 4 Foldats 1970 drawing fide; Orchids of Venezuela, An Illustrated Field Guide Vol 3 Dunsterville & Garay 1979 drawing fide; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum plate 399 Dodson 1980 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 54 No 8 1985 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 55 No 3 1986 photo fide; Orchids from The Coast Of Ecuador Arosemana, Jurado, Estrada and Konanz 1988 photo fide; Native Colombian Orchids Vol 3 COS 1991 photo fide; The Manual Of Cultivated Orchid Species Bechtel, Cribb & Launert 1992; AOS Bulletin Vol 64 No 6 1995 photo fide; Rudolf Schlechter Die Orchideen Band 1C lieferung 39 pg 2437 - 2500 Brieger 2000 drawing/photo fide; Orchids of Venezuela [An illustrated field guide] Vol. 3 Ramiro and Carnevali 2000 drawing fide; www.googleOrquideas Nativas del Tachira Cesar Fernandez 2003 photo fide; Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003 drawing fide; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 4 Dodson 2003 drawing/photo fide; Orquideologia Vol. 23 No 2 2004 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 70 #3 2006 drawing fide; Orchid Digest Vol 71 No 1 2007 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 77 No 8 2008; Orquideologia Vol 27 #1 2010 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 80 #12 2011 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 76 #1 2012 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 80 #1 2016 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 80 #2 2016; Orchid Digest Vol 83 #1 2019 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 88 #11 2019 photo fide; Vanishing Beauty, Native Costa Rican Orchids Vol 2 Lacaena to Pteroglossa Pupulin 2020 photo fide