The Exotic Rainforest
'Mercos' x 'Alto'
A most unusual orchid
whose parents can still be found in Southern Florida, Encyclia cochleata, or at
least the parent species, is often called the Clamshell Orchid due to the
shape of its lip petal. In Florida, it is also known as the Florida
Cockleshell Orchid. This Encyclia does not have the typical
round pseudobulb common to many Encyclia orchids. The petite
flowers have a purple lip with dark lines radiating out of a greenish
yellow bloom that can appear at any time of the year. The lip stands
upwards with the other two greenish yellow petals and the three sepals
hanging twisted downards. This epiphytic orchid species can be found
from southern Florida through Mexico, the Caribbean, and in South and
Central America normally in and around swamps and hammocks. The parent
species is now considered a rare and endangered plant.