SCHOMBURGKIA EXALTATA

Schomburgkia exaltata


Schomburgkia exaltata (now reclassified as Myrmecophila exaltata) is one of the most beautiful of all the flowering orchids. Delicate in both structure and colouration, it is indeed worthy of the pseudonym the 'Snowflake Flower'. Unfortunately, as gorgeous as it is, Schomburgkia exaltata is a relatively recent introduction and as such very little is known about it.

Schomburgkia exaltata
The genus is named after Dr Richard Schomburgk, a German botanist who explored British Guiana during the 19th century. While he did not discover Schomburgkia exaltata, he did discover the type species, S. crispa and S. marginata. The genus name is currently under debate, and while the name Schomburgkia is the one most commonly used it has been superseded by the current name of Myrmecophila.

Species in this genus are either epiphytic (a plant that grows non-parasitically upon another plant) or lithophytic (plants which grow in or on rocks) in their growth habit.

Schomburgkia exaltata was discovered by Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Kraenzlin in 1926. Its native habitat is found along the Caribbean coasts of Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico in the low mountain forests and scrublands. It is a large, robust epiphyte that require the high temperatures of the tropics to perform. While it has short ribbed pseudobulbs no longer than a foot in height, the terminal flower raceme can reach two meters in height and carry up to 80 flowers. The species name 'exaltada' refers to this tall flower raceme and its ability to carry its flowers well above the surrounding plants.

Note. The Common name 'Snowflake Flower' was first coined by myself due to the striking resemblance of the flower structure to a snowflake. My apologies to anyone who feels that this name is not appropriate. To those I will use the case of the Black Hellebore as my argument. Do not forget that snow does not actually have any colour pigmentation - unless it is yellow!

For related article click onto the following links:
How to Grow Monkey face Orchids from Seed - A Warning!
HOW TO GROW THE HYACINTH ORCHID - Bletilla striata
HOW TO FEED ORCHIDS
HOW TO REPOT AN ORCHID
HOW TO WATER ORCHIDS
MONKEY FACE ORCHIDS
SCHOMBURGKIA EXALTATA
THE SILVER VASE PLANT - Aechmea fasciata
THE ANGEL ORCHID
THE BEE ORCHIDS
THE BUTTERFLY ORCHID - Psychopsis papilio
THE FLYING DUCK ORCHID

No comments: