Sobralia decora Bateman 1841

Side View Photo by © Bogarin, Used under permission of Epidendra Website CR

Another Flower Photo by © Andy's Orchids

Plant in situPhoto by © Weyman Bussey


Common Name The Beautiful Sobralia

Flower Size 3 to 4" [7 to 10 cm]

A medium sized, reedstem like member of the Arethuseae tribe, it grows on steep, damp hillsides or shaded ravines and along streams in lower rainforests at elevations of 50 to 1700 meters either as a terrestrial or ocassional epiphyte in the countries of Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, with black-warty or scurfy leaf sheaths and lanceolate to lanceolate-oblong, long-acuminate, plicate, basally clasping leaves that blooms on a terminal, short, inflorescence with several, fragrant flowers opening in succession and occuring in the fall and winter for less than one day for each flower. Best grown in wooden slat boxes with hot to warm temperatures.

This species is related to S macdougallii and S galeottiana but differs in first S macdougallii that are rather short plants that do not produce keikis and has smooth leaves that do not dry to black with deep bright magenta flowers wita pale pink throat with conspicuous golden-orange colored lines, petals that are apically broader and rounded and haa column without prominent substigmatic keels. Secondly S galeottiana differs from S decora by its pubescent leaves, form keikis, has whitish blotches at the apex of the segments, narrower petals and lip and a column with 2 prominent ventral keels.

Synonyms Cattleya decora Beer 1854; Sobralia fenzliana Rchb.f. 1852; Sobralia neglecta Schltr 1923; Sobralia sessilis Hook. non Lindley ?

References W3 Tropicos Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Lankester's Epidendra Website CR ; *The Orchids of Mexico and Guatemala Bateman 1843 drawing fide; Xenia Orchidaceae Rchb.f 1854 drawing; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915; The Orchids of Panama L.O. Williams & P Allen 1946 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 27 No 8 1958 drawing; AOS Bulletin Vol 30 No 9 1961; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; Las Orquedias De El Salvador Vol 2 Hamer 1974 drawing fide/photo ok; AOS Bulletin Vol 49 No 5 1979 photo; Orquídea (Mexico City), n.s., 7[3]: 1979; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 306 Dodson 1980 as Sobralia fenzliana drawing ok; Las Orquideas de El Salvador Vol 3 Hamer 1981 drawing ok; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 1164 Dodson 1984 drawing fide; Flora Novo-Galaciana Vol 16 Orchidaceae Mc Vaugh 1985; An Introdution to the Orchids of Mexico Wiard 1987 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 59 No 4 1995 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 68 No 9 1999 photo; AOS Bulletin Vol 69 No 5 2000 photo; Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; AOS Bulletin Vol 75 No 8 2006 photo; Las Orquideas del Peru Izerskyy & Bezverhov 2011 photo maybe?; Guia de Orquideas de Chiapas Carlos Rommel Beutelspacher Baigts 2013 photo good