Epidendrum nocturnum

Epidendrum nocturnum

Epidendrum porpax/peperomia

Epidendrum porpax/peperomia

Pronunciation: E-pee-DEN-drum

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily: Epidendroideae
  • Tribe: Epidendreae
  • Subtribe: Laeliinae
  • Alliance: Epidendrum
  • Genus: Epidendrum, Linnaeus 1763

General Characteristics

  • The pollinarium contains four pollinia, sometimes two very reduced pollinia, but are rarely seen with only two.
  • The erect, pendent, or creeping stems are reed-like, simple or branching, may be pseudobulbs or thickened stems.
  • A slit rostellum (small extension or little beak to the median stigma lobe), producing a transparent or white thick and adhesive liquid.
  • The sometimes fringed lip is adnate to (united with) the column, forming a nectary tube (but rarely producing nectar), continuing through the pedicel.

Epidendrum, abbreviated Epi in horticultural trade, is a large neotropical genus of the orchid family, with more than 1,100 species.

They are native to the tropics and subtropical regions of the American continents, from South Carolina to Argentina. Their habitat is mostly epiphytic, a few are terrestrial, but are rarely lithophytic. Most Epidendrum are found in the Andes, though their habitat varies from humid jungles to dry tropical forests, from sunny grassy slopes to cool cloud forests.


  • Temperature: Variable, prefer warm but will grow well in intermediate and even cool, down to 50’s (10C) though won’t grow at that temperature. These in nature come from sea level to high mountain areas; better to research origin of plant if possible.
  • Light: High light, as much as you can give them without burning the leaves, few prefer diffuse light.
  • Water & Humidity: Roots like to dry completely between waterings, humidity not critical. To get reed stem epidendrums to bloom withhold water, may take a month or so, i.e. if they are growing well but no blooms abuse them a bit and they will flower. The Epidendrum nocturnum, ciliare, diffusum types prefer more water than other types.
  • Fertilizer: Not critical, whatever you are using for other orchids.
  • Potting: Mounted or in coarse mixture (lots of air spaces).


Browse to Wikipedia to view the entire list of over 1,100 species.


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