Native to Colombia and Ecuador
Edited 5 July 2007
© Nina Rach
This terrestrial species grows to about two meters and has beautiful (Latin: pulcher, hence "pulcherrima") large, white flowers with pink/purple veins or striations on the lip. The inflorescence is elongated in a zig-zag pattern.
In Ecuador, Sobralia pulcherrima has been found growing in both the coastal and Andean areas, from 500 to 2000 meters, on the western slopes of the western Cordillera. Specifically, it has been collected from montane cloud forest in the provinces of Pichincha, Carchi, Imbabura, and Cotopaxi.
The photo above left was taken in-situ in the Macquipucuna Preserve, Nanegal, Ecuador. See the
See the webpage about White Sobralias.
According to Delfina de Araujo, this species requires cool conditions, high light and good ventilation in cultivation.
Colombian Orchid Society (1992) Native Colombian Orchids, Volume 4: Porroglossum - Zygosepalum; Medellin: Compania Litografica Nacional S.A., 618p.
Eva Ledezma, Giovanny Ramirez, Nayive Pino-Benitez (March 2006) "Forest Orchids of the Choco Region / Orquideas silvestres del Choco," in: Lyonia 10(1): 17-31. [Elleanthus capitatus, steyermarkii; Palmorchis trilobulata; Sobralia decora, fragrans, klotzscheana, liliastrum, macrophylla, madisonii, pulcherrima, valida; Fig. 4 shows Sobralia pollinia].
Dodson, C. H. & A. H. Gentry (1978) "Flora of the Río Palenque Science Center: Los Ríos Province, Ecuador," in: Selbyana, 4(1--6): i--xxx, 1--628.
Dodson, C. H. & P. M. Dodson (1980) "Orchids of Ecuador," in: Icones Plantarum Tropicarum, 3: 201-300.
Arcadio Arosema G., Roberto Estrada G., Cecilia De Jurado, Max Konanz M. (1988) Orchids From the Coast of Ecuador. Guayaquil: Asociacion Ecuatoriana de Orquideologia, 129 p., 171 color photos. [this species is pictured and described on p. 95].
Dodson, C. H. (1988) "A list of the orchid species reported for Ecuador," in: Orquídeas de la costa del Ecuador, pp. 115-129.
Renner, S. S., H. Balslev & L. B. Holm-Nielsen (1990) "Flowering plants of Amazonian Ecuador---A checklist," in: AAU Reports, 24: 1--241.
Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador (CVPE), in the W3 TROPICOS database at Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT).
Inventory of the vascular plants of Maquipucuna, Ecuador;
From the Monocot list:
"184. Sobralia pulcherrima Garay Banks, 1200-1800 m; terr., to 2 m, fls. pink, lip with purplish lines: 28302, 29979*, 31941; Harling & Andersson 11751 (between Nanegal & Nanegalito, [type collection]); Holm-Nielsen 24516*."