Clamshell orchid, cockleshell orchid
Prosthechea cochleata
Orchidaceae


Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

A rather rare epiphyte in hammocks and swamps.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts and botanical gardens.
Description:
Epiphytic wildflower.
Height:
About 6-12 inches in height. Forms clums broader than tall.
Growth Rate:
Slow.
Range:
Miami-Dade, Collier and Lee counties and the Monroe County mainland; West Indies, Mexico and Central America. Very rare north of Miami-Dade and Collier counties.
Habitats:
Swamps and moist forests.
Soils:
Epiphytic; grows on the trunks and branches of trees and shrubs.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow on nutrient poor substrate, but needs some nutrient inputs to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Drought Tolerance:
Low; requires moist substrate and high humidity and is intolerant of long periods of drought.
Light Requirements:
Light shade.
Flower Color:
Purple and greenish.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy.
Flowering Season:
All year.
Fruit:
Capsule containing numerous minute seeds. Dispersal is by wind.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Horticultural Notes:
Primarily grown from seed in a sterilized flask.
Comments:
It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.


Roger L. Hammer
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Keith A. Bradley