Bletia purpurea

Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also wildflower gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

A fairly uncommon understory herb in a variety of mesic and wetland ecosytems, but occasionally becoming abundant in small areas.
Grown by enthusiasts and occasionally by native plant nurseries and botanical gardens.
Medium herbaceous wildflower with grass-like leaves.
Typically 1-2 feet in height; up to 5 feet when in flower. Generally taller than broad.
Growth Rate:
Monroe County Keys north to Palm Beach and Lee counties; disjunct in Polk County; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and northern South America. In the Monroe County Keys, disjunct from Miami-Dade County to the pine rocklands of Big Pine Key and nearby islands.
Pinelands, marshes and swamps.
Moist to seasonally wet, well-drained to poorly-drained sandy, limestone, or organic soils; also found on stumps and floating logs in swamps.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate to low; requires moist to wet soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
Pale pink to bright rose-pink, with yellow on the lateral sepals and lip.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy, 1/2-3/4" wide.
Flowering Season:
Winter-summer; peak in spring.
Green capsule with dust-like seeds.
Wildlife and Ecology:
In Florida, all plants are self-pollinating. In the West Indies, the flowers are pollinated by bees that do not occur in South Florida.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from division and seed.
It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida.

Roger L. Hammer
George D. Gann
In habitat, New Providence, Bahamas, 2012
George D. Gann
In habitat, New Providence, Bahamas, 2012
Shirley Denton