Oncidium ensatum

Oncidium ensatum Lindl.

Synonym: Oncidium floridanum

Common Names: The Rich Flowering Oncidium

Family: Orchidaceae

Habit: Oncidium ensatum grows as an epilithic herb.  There is a shortened primary stem that is incased by imbricating sheaths.  There is a secondary stem forming a pseudobulb that is oblong and compressed, to 16 cm in height and enclosed by distichously arranged leaf bases.  The leaves are linear, to 120 cm in length and 3 cm wide, typically bright green.

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers are arranged in terminal panicles up to 125 cm in height. A bract subtends each flower.  The calyx has 3 yellow and brown sepals. The corolla has 3 petals with one forming the labellum. The labellum is 3-lobed and yellow.  The lateral lobes have entire or crenate reflexed margins and the middle lobe is entire or crenate with red-brown spots and 2 sets of tubercles.  The yellow column has lateral wings at the apex and is crenate.  The fruit is a capsule at maturity.

Habitat: Oncidium ensatum grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Forests as well as in mangrove areas and occasionally Pine Woodlands.

Distribution: Oncidium ensatum occurs in the northern islands and has been found in the central and southern islands (but is uncommon there) of the Lucayan Archipelago. It also occurs in Florida and Cuba.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Oncidium ensatum is not used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.