Bletia gracilis Lodd. 1833

Another Angle Photos by Mary E. Gerritsen

Another Flower

Another Angle

Flower Closeup

Plant and Flowers in situ Photos by Edouard Faria


Common Name or Meaning The Graceful Bletia

Flower Size 1" [2.5 cm]

Found in Jalisco, Michoacan, Guerrero, Mexico, Morelos and Oaxaca states of Mexico as well as Guatemala on rocky or grassy hillsides in oak and oak-pine forests at elevations of 600 to 2200 meters as a medium sized, warm to cold growing terrestrial orchid with ovoid, erect, solitary or clustered corms enveloped basally by fibrous bases of old leaf bearing sheaths and carrying 1 to 2, apical, erect, plicate, purple below, green above, oblong-elliptic to lanceolate, acute to acuminate, petiolate base leaves that blooms in the summer and fall with or without leaves and sometimes as late as mid-winter on leafless corms, occuring as a basal, slender, wiry, 8 to 30" [20 to 75 cm] long, few to 10 flowered inflorescence that is enveloped basally by several, imbricating, scarious sheaths.

This species and B roezlii, which is often listed as B gracilis var roezlii can be distinguished by the papillose lip of the latter and the flowers that open better and have more substance.


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915; AOS Bulletin Vol 27 No 5 1958 drawing; Encylopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; Flora Novo-Galaciana Vol. 16 McVaugh 1985; Orchids of Guatemala and Belize Ames and Correl 1985;