Prosthechea fragrans (Encyclia fragrans)


Prosthechea fragrans (Sw.) W.E. Higgins 1997 (Encyclia fragrans (Sw.) Dressler 1961) is an epiphytic growing orchid species, native to Central- and South America
and the Caribbean Islands.

The highly fragrant flowers of Prosthechea fragrans (Encyclia fragrans), with a scent reminescent of vanilla and honey, get a size of about 4 cm. The about 10 cm long inflorescences carry up to about 10 flowers. Flowerng period: Winter - Spring. The naming for the tropical orchid is like an odyssey through the world of Orchidaceae. Swedish botanist Olof Swartz (1760-1818) primarily described and named the orchid in the year 1788 as Epidendrum fragrans Sw. 1788, which is the basionym. Cuban botanist Julián Baldomero Acuña Galé (1900-1973) changed the name to Anacheilium fragrans (Sw.) Acuña 1938 and than the American botanist Robert Louis Dressler (born 1927) changed it again to Encyclia fragrans (Sw.) Dressler 1961. One may think that are enough changes, but the nowadays accepted name for the orchid is Prosthechea fragrans (Sw.) W.E. Higgins 1997. Even more confusion is caused through all that changes, while it comes to hybrids with Prosthechea fragrans as a parent.

A few days ago, whilst we made the picture of the cute orchid, we discussed the name changes with a Thai orchid breeder, our good friend and supporter Katai from Phrao Orchids. She mentioned, maybe they don`t have anything better to do, then permanently renaming orchids. Yes, it must be like that, we agreed. Prosthechea fragrans (Encyclia fragrans) orchids are protected by CITES Appendix II (trade controlled to avoid use incompatible with species survival).

Prosthechea fragrans (Encyclia fragrans)
Flower Photography © Orchids
Image: Prosthechea fragrans (Encyclia fragrans)

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