Stanhopea embreei

Stanhopea embreei

Stanhopea costaricensis

Stanhopea costaricensis

Pronunciation: stan-HOPE-ea

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily: Epidendroideae
  • Tribe: Maxillarieae
  • Subtribe: Stanhopeinae
  • Genus: Stanhopea, J. Frost ex Hooker 1829

General Characteristics

  • epiphytic, occasionally terrestrial
  • ovate pseudobulbs
  • one long, plicate, elliptic leaf per pseudobulb
  • pendant inflorescences
  • usually fragrant flowers

Stanhopea is a genus of the orchid family from Central and South America. The abbreviation used in horticultural trade is Stan. These epiphytic, but occasionally terrestrial orchids can be found in damp forests from Mexico to NW Argentine. Their ovate pseudobulbs carry from the top one long, plicate, elliptic leaf.

It is noted for its complex and usually fragrant flowers that are generally spectacular and short-lived. Their pendant inflorescences are noted for flowering out of the bottom of the containers in which they grow, lending themselves to culture in baskets that have enough open space for the infloresence push through.

The majority of species are robust plants that grow readily in cultivation.


  • Temperature: Warm to Intermediate/Cool
  • Light: Filtered to Bright Sun
  • Water & Humidity: Maintain even moisture and 70-90% humidity. Some species such as Stan. jenischiana need a drier winter rest. It is important to keep the plants well-hydrated, as shriveled pseudobulbs will not regain their plumpness.
  • Fertilizer: Half-strength balanced fertilizer monthly during growth; supplemented with slow-release pellet fertilizer.
  • Potting: Must be grown in baskets or mounted because of the pendulous inflorescences. Suggest using media that retains moisture, such as long-fibered sphagnum with bark/charcoal & sponge rock or coconut chips. Line baskets with coconut fiber, sphagnum, even newspaper, to retain mix while root system becomes established.


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