Extraordinary Catasetum Orchids

In Defense of Plants explains why Catasetum orchids really stand out. They have fascinating flowers, but unlike most orchids, these beauties have different male and female blooms. This puzzled botanists long ago, who thought that they were separate species. It was the famous scientist Charles Darwin who finally resolved the confusion. Darwin studied how the male flowers launch their pollen at bees which have tripped a trigger. Attached to a small disk of glue, the pollen flies out and sticks to the bee, ready to be carried to another blossom.

Some Catasetum varieties have symbiotic relationships with ants, which live within their old pseudobulbs. The ants help protect the plants from being eaten, and also fertilize the orchids. Native to Central and South American jungles, Catasetums are closely related to Clowesias, Cycnoches, and Mormodes. They’re deciduous, dropping their leaves in the tropical dry season, and growing new ones as rains return.

To learn more about these extraordinary species and their stunning hybrids, also check out Catasetinae.com. The website includes lots of photos and culture information.

Explore posts in the same categories: Dormancy, Fertilizing, Fragrant Orchids, Misc

Subscribe to the About Orchids Blog:
AddThis Feed Button

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.