Prosthechea boothiana

Prosethechea boothiana (Lindl.) Dressler

Synonym: Encyclia boothiana

Common Names: Money Orchid, Dollar Orchid

Family: Orchidaceae

Habit: Prosethechea boothiana grow as an epiphyte on trees.  It produces a very short rhizomatous stem that is covered with secondary stems that are expanded to form flat, round pseudobulbs up to 5 cm in length.  From the top of the pseudobulb 1-3 flattened linear leaves emerge that are up to 7 cm in length.  The pseudobulb is flattened along its axis.

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers are arranged in lax racemes up to 12 cm in height and contain 1-5 flowers. The flowers have bracts and are non-resupinate with the labellum to the top of the flower.  The calyx has 3 sepals that are greenish yellow with brown spots.  The corolla has 3 petals with 1 forming the labellum.  The petals are greenish yellow with brown spots. The labellum forms a hood 2 cm in height and width that surrounds the green column.  The hood yellow.. The ovary is inferior.  The fruit is a 3 winged hanging 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: Prosethechea boothiana grows in trees above wet sinkholes in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Forests (coppice).

Distribution: Prosethechea boothiana occurs on the northern pine islands of the Lucayan Archipelago as well as south Florida, and Mexico south through Central America and the entire Caribbean region.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: While there are no medicinal uses of Prosethechea boothiana 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.