Encyclia fehlingii

Encyclia fehlingii (Sauleda) Sauleda and R. M. Adams

Family: Orchidaceae

Habit: Encyclia fehlingii grow as an epiphyte or among leaf detritus and rocks. It produces a very short rhizomatous stem that is covered with secondary stems that are expanded to form elongate pseudobulbs up to 9 cm in length.  From the top of the pseudobulb 1-3 flattened linear leaves emerge that are up to 50 cm in length.

The zygomorphic flowers are arranged in terminal panicles up to 70 cm in height and contains up to 50 flowers (usually much fewer). The flowers have triangular bracts and the calyx has 3 greenish yellow sepals that turn brownish with age. The corolla has 3 green to yellow petals with one forming the labellum.  The labellum is white and deeply 3 lobed. The central lobe is to 1.5 cm long, developing 3 major reddish purple lines as the flower ages (1 long central and 2 short lateral lines).  The 2 lateral lobes of the labellum are erect to either side of the column with their upper edges recurved outward.  The column is formed from a fusion of the stamens and ovary into a single structure. Along the top of the column between the lateral labellum lobes is an elongate callus plate with 3 lobes at the front edge. The ovary is inferior.  The fruit is a capsule at maturity up to 3 cm in length that opens along six suture lines and hangs allowing wind to assist in seed dispersal.

Habitat: Encyclia fehlingii grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Forests (Coppice) and Mangrove areas.

Distribution: Encyclia fehlingii occurs in the northern pine islands and is endemic to the Lucayan Archipelago.       

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: While there are no medicinal uses of Encyclia fehlingii like all orchids they are prized for their beautiful flowers. ALL orchids are protected internationally by the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) and should not be collected from the wild.