Mexico,  Mexico

The wildlife of the Riviera Maya and its environment III

This post is also available in: esEspañol (Spanish)

Scientific: Brassavola nodosa Lindl

English: Lady of the night orchid

Description: Usually this epiphytic plant grows from a cluster of long, separate and thin bulb-like structures (pseudo-bulbs) that are attached to the trunks of trees. Each plant has a single leaf and a strong stem from which one to six white or greenish-white flowers emerge. These may emit a strong fragrance at night, which attracts the moths that pollinate them.

Habitat: It grows in the coastal forests, including the mangroves, attached to tree trunks and branches where it is exposed to good air circulation and humidity. It can tolerate dry periods. Although the flowers produce many seeds, they are very delicate, requiring specific conditions to germinate, including the presence of certain microscopic fungi (molds). It takes between seven and nine years for the plants to flower.

Threats: The destruction of their habitat and their removal from the forest

Uses and beliefs: Cultivation for decorative purposes

How to protect it: Avoid removing plants from the trees; purchase specimens from authorized dealers. When the plants are mature, separate them and share them with others who appreciate and can grow them. Tests have been conducted to propagate these orchids from seeds or tissue samples, but except for separation, these methods are beyond the ability of the general public. Although this species is not listed in the 2010 Regulation, like other native orchids, the government monitors its sale to prevent over-harvesting from its natural habitat.

Where to observe it: In forested areas on the hotel grounds and near the golf course

Images credit: infojardin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before submitting this form, you should read the basic information on data protection found here.