Cycnoches ventricosum Bateman 1837 SECTION Eucycnoches

Photo by Rodrigo Remolina and the AMO Mexican Orchid Website

Plant and Flowers

Photo by Willam E Segars.

Female Flower

Photo by Lourens Grobler.


Common Name Swan Orchid - The Thick-Bellied Cycnoches

Flower Size 5" [12.5 cm]

Found in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama as a large sized, hot to warm growing epiphyte that occurs on living or rotten tree trunks in dense tropical forests at elevations of 400 to 1000 meters and is a deciduous plant with cylindric-fusiform, slightly compressed pseudobulbs with 5 to 6 elliptic or linear-lanceolate, acute to acuminate, membraneous leaves that are articulated to the basal leaf sheaths that blooms in the summer on a several flowered, 12" [30 cm] long, racemose, pendant inflorescence with the waxy, long-lasting, fragrant jasmine scented flowers arise from the leaf nodes at the apex of the newest, mature, leafless pseudobulb. These are commonly called the swan orchid because of the look of the arched column.

These flowers are sexually dimorphic and as such, each sex has a different appearance.

This plant was first described in 1837 by Bateman in his book Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala.

These orchids are extremely fragrant and the flowers are quite showy but unfortunately they are short lived. After blooming in the late summer they need a definite rest with no water or fertilizer until the new growth appears in March. Some growers actually pull it from it's pot, cut all it's roots and put it in an area that gets no light. This procedure is necessary to alleviate basal root rot.

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *The Orchids of Mexico and Guatemala Bateman 1843 drawing fide; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915; Flora Brasilica Vol XII VI 97 - 114 Hoehne 1942; The Orchids of Panama L.O. Williams & P Allen 1946; AOS Bulletin Vol 26 No 5 1957 Photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 29 No 8 1960 photo fide; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965 photo good; AOS Bulletin Vol 37 No 9 1968 photo fide; Las Orquedias De El Salvador Vol 1 Hamer 1974 drawing/photo fide; Las Orquideas De El Salvador Vol 3 Hamer 1981 drawing fide; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 648 Dodson 1982 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 52 No 8 1983 photo fide; Orchids of Guatemala and Belize Ames & Correll 1985; Selbyana Vol 10 Orchids of Central America Hamer 1988 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 60 No 5 1991 drawing fide; The Manual of Cultivated Orchids Bechtel, Cribb, Launert 1992 photo not = C warscewiczii; Rudolf Schlechter Die Orchideen Band 1B lieferung 26 1584 - 1648 Brieger 1992; Guatemala Y Sus Orquideas Behar & Tinschert 1998 photo fide; Orchid Digerst Vol 64 #1 2000 photo fide; Orchids of Mexico Hagsater, Soto, Salazar, etc 2005 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 75 #2 2011 Photo fide; Guia de Orquideas de Chiapas Carlos Rommel Beutelspacher Baigts 2013 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 83 # 7 2014 photo fide; Algunas Orquideas de Mexico Tomo 1 Suarez 2013 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 80 #2 2016; Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018