Pleurothallis colossus Kraenzl. ex Kerch. 1894 SUBGENUS Pleurothallis SECTION Pleurothallis SUBSECTION Macrophyllae-Racemosae [Lindl] Luer 1986

Flower Closeup

Photos by EDUARDO CALDERON and the El Refugio Website


Photo by Patricia Harding

Plant in situ Costa Rica

Photo by The Orquideas del Valle Website


Common Name The Giant Pleurothallis [refers to the plant size only]

Flower Size .2" [5mm]

Found in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador in wet montane forests at elevations of 880 to 2400 meters as a medium to large sized, warm to cold growing epiphyte with stout, erect ramicauls enveloped a large, loose, tubular sheath near the middle and 2 to 3, other loose sheaths at the base and carrying a single, apical, suberect to spreading, coriaceous, broadly ovate, acute, acuminate, deeply cordate below in to the sessile base leaf that blooms in the fall through spring on a fascile of 5 to 10, erect, 8 to 15.2" [20 to 38 cm] long overall, rachis 6 to 12.2" [15 to 31 cm] long, simultaneously, subdensely many flowered inflorescence arising through a foliaceous spathe and has infundibular floral bracts.

Probably the largest plant within Pleurothallis, its rivals include P excelsa and P gargantua, it can reach a meter tall and have a leaf the size of a dinner plate. It always has several inflorescence arising through a spathe on the same leaf with small, white, purple spotted, simultaneously opening flowers

Synonyms Pleurothallis hirtzii Luer 1980; Pleurothallis praegrandis Ames 1923; Pleurothallis saccata Ames 1923

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; The Orchids of Panama L.O. Williams & P Allen 1946 as Pleurothallis praegrandis drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 64 #12 1995 photo fide; Icones Pleurothallidianrum Vol XVIII Luer 1999 Drawing fide; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 4 Dodson 2003 drawing fide; Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; Icones Pleurothallidianrum Vol XXVII Luer 2005; AOS Bulletin Vol 80 #12 2011 photo fide; Orquideas de Farallones de Cali Galindo-Tarazona, Haelterman, Zuluaga Trochez and Sebastian Moreno 2020 photo fide