!Peristeria elata Hooker 1831

TYPE for the genus Photo by Copyright Jay Pfahl

Another Flower Photo courtesy of David Jubineau and His Bulbophyllum Pages Copyright

Flower and Inflorescence Photo courtesy of Dr. Leslie Garay Copyright , Leslie Garay Archives


Common Name Dove Orchid or Holy Ghost Orchid - The Stately Peristeria

Flower Size 2" [5 cm]

This is the national flower of Panama and is commonly called the 'Dove Orchid' or 'Holy Ghost Orchid' and it is easy to see the dove sitting on the nest within the flower. It is found as a large sized, warm to hot growing terrestrial or lithophytic orchid from Costa Rica Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Venzuela where it is found in shaded grassland edges and stone outcrops in tropical wet forests at elevations of 100 to 700 meters with clustered, large, ovoid or conical pseudobulbs enveloped basally by imbricate, papery sheaths with the upper 2 being leaf bearing and carrying 3 to 5 apical, plicate, broadly lanceolate to elliptic, acute or acuminate, gradually narrowing below into the conduplicate short petiolate base leaves. It blooms from July till August and has a rigidly erect, to 4 1/2' [135 cm] long, basal inflorescence with 10 to 15, campanulate, subglobose, waxy flowers and appearing on a new growth and opening as the pseudobulb has matured but before the leaves drop. The flowers opens successively over a long period with many [10 to 20], highly citrus scented, waxy, cup-shaped flowers, but only 4 to 6 open at any one time.

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Bonplandia Rchb.f 1854; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915; Atlas des Orchidees Cultivees Constantin 1920 drawing fide; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 17: 60. Panama Schlechter 1922; The Orchids of Panama L.O. Williams & P Allen 1946 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin VOl 27 No 1 1958 drawing; AOS Bulletin Vol 26 No 2 1957; AOS Bulletin Vol 27 No 6 1958; Venezuelan Orchids Vol 3 Dunsterville & Garay 1965 drawing fide; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; Flora de Venezuela Volumen XV Part 4 Foldats 1970 drawing fide; Orchids of Venezuela, An Illustrated Field Guide Vol 3 Dunsterville & Garay 1979 drawing fide; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum plate 399 Dodson 1980 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 54 No 8 1985 photo; AOS Bulletin Vol 55 No 3 1986 photo; Orchids from The Coast Of Ecuador Arosemana, Jurado, Estrada and Konanz 1988 photo fide; Native Colombian Orchids Vol 3 COS 1991 photo fide; The Manual Of Cultivated Orchid Species Bechtel, Cribb & Launert 1992; AOS Bulletin Vol 64 No 6 1995 photo; Rudolf Schlechter Die Orchideen Band 1C lieferung 39 pg 2437 - 2500 Brieger 2000 drawing/photo fide; Orchids of Venezuela [An illustrated field guide] Vol. 3 Ramiro and Carnevali 2000 drawing fide; www.googleOrquideas Nativas del Tachira Cesar Fernandez 2003 photo fide; Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003 drawing fide; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 4 Dodson 2003 drawing/photo fide; Orquideologia Vol. 23 No 2 2004 photo; Orchid Digest Vol 70 #3 2006 drawing fide; Orchid Digest Vol 71 No 1 2007 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 77 No 8 2008; Orchid Digest Vol 76 #1 2012 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 80 #1 2016 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 80 #2 2016; Orchid Digest Vol 83 #1 2019 photo fide;