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ZYGOPETALUM maculatum

Image of Zygopetalum maculatum

Michael Charters, www.calflora.net

Family

Orchidaceae

Botanical Name

ZYGOPETALUM maculatum

Plant Common Name

Orchid, Zygopetalum

General Description

This ground-dwelling tropical orchid is grown for its fall and winter display of fragrant, colorful, strikingly patterned flowers. It is native to mild upland rainforests of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia.

Clusters of pleated, lance-shaped, bright green leaves arise from the cone-shaped "pseudobulbs" of this evergreen perennial. In fall or winter, mature pseudobulbs produce long stalks, each crowned with clusters of four or five waxy, hyacinth-scented blooms. Each flower has a fan of five lance-shaped, green, brown-splotched "tepals," and a broad, drooping white "lip" with purple veins. The flowers are long-lasting.

Grow this orchid in dappled shade or filtered sunlight in a coarse, organic-rich medium. Water must freely drain away from the roots. Well-suited for growing in cool-tropical greenhouses, it also can be used as a houseplant. Fertilize only during spring and summer, and water sparingly in winter. This distinctive orchid makes a good shade plant for frost-free gardens.

This orchid was formerly known as Zygopetalum intermedium, and is sometimes listed under that name.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    11 - 13

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    16"-24" / 40.6cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    18"-32" / 45.7cm - 81.3cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Fall, Late Fall, Early Winter, Winter, Late Winter

  • Native To

    South America, Brazil

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Green, Purple, Pink, Burgundy, Violet, Bronze, Brown

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color, Striped

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No