Specklinia brighamii

Family : Orchidaceae

Text © Pietro Puccio


English translation by Mario Beltramini


Specklinia brighamii, Orchidaceae

Native to Central America, the Specklinia brighamii is an epiphyte species forming dense tufts with even 8 cm long leaves of a nice bright green © Giuseppe Mazza

The species is native to Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico (Campeche, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Tabasco and Veracruz), Nicaragua and Panama where it grows on the trees of the humid forests from the sea level up to about 2400 m of altitude.

The genus is dedicated to the German engraver Veit Rudolph Specklin (-1550), author of the plates of the treatise of botany “De historia stirpium commentarii insignes” by Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1566); the specific name is honoured to the American botanist, geologist and ethnologist William Tufts Brigham (1841-1926).

The Specklinia brighamii (S.Watson) Pridgeon & M.W.Chase (2001) is an epiphyte species forming dense tufts with creeping rhizome and unifoliate thin stems, erect, 0,3-0,8 cm long, enclosed by two tubular sheaths.

Specklinia brighamii, Orchidaceae

Easy to cultivate in the terraria with showy tiny flowers opening in succession at the apex of a filiform peduncle © Giuseppe Mazza

Oblanceolate erect leaves with acute bidentate apex and thinned base, 2,5-8 cm long and 0,6-1 cm broad, coriaceous, of bright green colour.

Fasciculate flowers, at the apex of a 4-6 cm long filiform peduncle, opening one by one in succession, on a 0,4-1 cm long pedicel and ovary, for a long period of time.

Oblong dorsal sepal with acute apex keeled in the back, 0,6-1 cm long and 0,3-0,4 cm broad, of yellowish colour with brown reddish veins, oblong lateral sepals with obtuse to apiculate apex, keeled in the back, slightly longer than the dorsal, united at the base per half or more of their length, of yellowish colour with brown reddish dot at the base.

Spatulate yellowish petals with brown reddish veins, 2-3 mm long and 1-2 mm broad, linguiform dark brown labellum, 2-3 mm long and about 1 mm broad, ciliate at the apex.

It reproduces by seed, in vitro, but usually recourse is done to the division of the tufts.

Easily cultivated mini orchid forming quickly thick tufts; it grows well in greenhouse, intermediate as well as warm in semi-shady position, with high ambient humidity, 70-85 %, and constant ventilation, ideal for terraria.

It can be mounted on pieces of trunks, bark or rafts of various nature covered by sphagnum to maintain the humidity at the roots, or cultivated in pot with a compost that may be formed by fragments of finely sliced bark and charcoal with addition of sphagnum. Regular watering, frequent, as it does not have a precise period of rest, but allowing the substratum to slightly dry up, utilizing rainwater, by reverse osmosis or de-mineralized.

The species is inscribed in the appendix II of the CITES (species whose trade is internationally ruled).

Synonyms: Pleurothallis brighamii S.Watson (1888); Sarcinula brighamii (S.Watson) Luer (2006).


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