Encyclia tampensis (Butterfly Orchid)
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Encyclia tampensis (Butterfly Orchid)

Tampa Butterfly Orchid, Butterfly Orchid, Florida Butterfly Orchid, Onion Orchid, Epidendrum tampense


Encyclia tampensis (Butterfly Orchid) is a small to medium sized, epiphytic orchid species with inflorescences that can bear 3-45 fragrant flowers with a sweet honey scent. Blooming from late spring to early fall, the flowers, up to 1.5 in. across (4 cm), feature sepals and petals in shades of yellow, copper, green, or bronze and a white lip veined with purple spots or striping in the center. Attractive to bees and butterflies, the blossoms last 5-7 weeks. The crowded, elliptic to ovoid pseudobulbs are dark green with one or two narrow grass-like leaves, 16 in. long (40 cm). Native to Florida, the Bahamas and Cuba, Butterfly Orchid is found in moist forests at low altitudes. This orchid grows on a wide variety of trees, including live oak, red maple, gum, bald cypress, buttonwood, pop ash, and pond apple. Butterfly Orchid responds well to culture and has long-lasting flowers - desirable features that contribute to its over-collection and to its becoming a threatened species.

  • Grows up to 18 in. tall and wide (45 cm).
  • Easily grown in an epiphytic compost with bright filtered light.
  • Needs average night temperatures of 50-68°F (10-20°C) and daytime temperatures of 71-85°F (22-30°C) in summer.
  • Maintain adequate humidity (50%) for most of the year by setting the plant in a tray of damp pebbles.
  • Water your plant twice a week with rain water. Water sparingly in winter.
  • Feed weekly with half strength balanced fertilizer 20-20-20.
  • Propagate by division, with each section provided with at least 3-4 pseudobulbs.
  • Once the flowers have faded, remove the spent flower spikes. Repot once a year
  • Generally disease free. Keep an eye out for aphids, spider mite.
  • Native to the Bahamas, Cuba, and Florida.

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Orchids
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 24" (60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Florida
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Patio and Containers

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Cheryl Ann Meola, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Orchids
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 24" (60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Florida
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Patio and Containers

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