Thecostele alata [Roxb.] Parish & Rchb. f. 1874

Petals Closeup

Side view of flower

Plant Photos by Jay Pfahl

Plant and Inflorescence Photo by Nik Fahmi and his Vortex Orchid Page

FragrancePart sun Hotto Warm EARLY Springand Summer

Common Name The Winged Thecostele [Refers to the winged column of the flower]

Flower Size 1/2" [1.25 cm]

Found from Bangladesh, Myanamar, Thailand, Malayasia, Laos, Vietnam, Borneo, Java, Sumatra and the Philippines in evergreen in semi-deciduous and deciduous dry lowland forests and savana-like woodlands at elevations of sealevel to 1800 meters as a small sized, hot to warm growing epiphyte occuring in lowland and lower montane forests with clustered, ovoid to ellipdsoidal, compressed, unifoliate, deeply sulcate pseudobulbs carrying a single, apical, thinly coriaceous, arcuate, linear-lancelate, to elliptic-obovate, acute leaf with a grooved stalk that blooms on a pendant, laxly 20 to 40 flowered, 6 to 20" [15 to 50 cm] long, slender, flexuous, branching inflorescence arising from the base of the mature, often leafless pseudobulb with small, elliptic-lanceolate floral bracts with short lived, yet successively opening so they last for months, flowers occuring in the early spring as new growths appear. The inflorescence lengthen as the flowers open and new ones arise and the process can take 2 to 3 months. The cute, insect-like flowers are slightly scented and are incredibly intricate if viewed with a magnifying glass. Water copiuosly and fertilize often as the new growths arise and grow but as they mature in late summer and early fall it is best to slowly decrease the water and fertilizer until none is given for a month towards the end of the winter. During this time the leaves will yellow and fall, do not worry they are meant to do this but in nature you can often find it with leaves even as it is blooming. I mounted mine in a wood slat basket so the inflorescence can hang over the side.

Synonyms Collabium annamense Gagnep. 1950; Collabium wrayi Hook. f. 1890; *Cymbidium alatum Roxb. 1832; Pholidota elmeri Ames 1912; Thecostele elmeri (Ames) Ames 1952; Thecostele maculosa Ridl. 1893 ; Thecostele poilanei Gagnep. 1931; Thecostele wrayi (Hook. f.) Rolfe 1912; Thecostele zollingeri Rchb. f. 1857

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Bonplandia Rchb.f 1857 as T zollingeri; Xenia Orchidaceae vol 2 Rchb.f 1867 as Thecostele zollingeri drawing fide; Icones Plantarum Vol 21 Hooker 1891 as Collabium wrayi drawing fide; Orchids of Burma Grant 1895/1995 as Thecostele zolingeri; Die Orchideen Von Java J.J.Sm. 1905; Die Orchideen Von Java Figuren Atlas J.J.Smith 1908 drawing fide; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915; Flora of Malaya Vol 1 Holttum 1957; The Orchids of Thailand Seidenfaden & Smitinand 1961 drawing/photo fide; The Orchids of Thailand Seidenfaden & Smitinand 1965 corrections; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; AOS Bulletin Vol 48 No 9 1979 photo fide; Opera Botanica #72 Orchid Genera in Thailand XI Cymbidiaeae Seidenfaden 1983 drawing fide; Die Orchideen Band 3 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas Liferung #14 820 - 880 as Collabium annamense 1984; Orchidiana Philipiniana Vol 1 Valmayor 1984; Orchids of Java Comber 1990 photo fide; Rudolf Schlechter Die Orchideen Band 1B lieferung 24 1457 - 1520 Brieger 1991 drawing/photo fide; The Manual Of Cultivated Orchid Species Bechtel, Cribb & Launert 1992 photo fide; The Orchids of Penninsular Malaysia and Singapore Wood & Seidenfaden 1992 drawing/photo fide; Phylogeny and Classification of the Orchid Family Dressler 1993 photo fide; The Plants of Mount Kinabalu Vol 2 Orchids Beaman, Wood, Beaman & Beaman 1993 photo fide; A Checklist of the Orchids of Borneo Wood & Cribb 1994; Identification of the Orchids [Orchidaceae Juss.] Vietnam Averyanov 1994; Orchids of Sumatra Comber 2001 photo fide; Orchids of Sarawak Beaman, Wood & Beaman etal 2001; A field Guide to the Wild Orchids of Thailand Vaddhanaphuti 2001 photo fide; A to Z of South East Asian Orchid Species Vol 1 O'Byrne 2001 photo fide; The Orchids of the Philippines Cootes 2001 photo fide; Flora Malesiana Orchids of the Philippines Vol I Agoo, Shuiteman and de Vogel 2003; A field Guide to the Wild Orchids of Thailand Vaddhanaphuti 2005 photo fide; Orchids of India A Glimpse Misra 2007 drawing fide; The Wild Orchids of the Cameron Highlands REACH 2009 photo fide; The Orchids of Mount Kinabalu Vol 2 Wood, Beaman, Lamb, Chu Lun and Beaman 2011 drawing/photo fide; Wild Orchids of Penninsular Malaysia Ong, O'Byrne, Yong & Saw 2011 photo fide