Native to Brazil (Rondonia & Matto Grosso), and Peru
Edited 22 March 2007
© Nina Rach
Named for "Rondônia," one of the two Brazilian states in which it is found.
Francisco Miranda notes that it comes from a border region of the Amazon, growing in large clumps on rocky outcrops, "frequently up to 2 meters (6 plus ft.) across and more than 1 meter tall. These plants are subject to full sunlight and just their root systems are protected from the sun by decaying matter, basically fallen dry leaves. The big (4" or more across) pristine white flowers have a very big (up to 3") lip with a golden yellow throat. The segments reflex gracefully."
[There is an in-situ photo of the species on Miranda's CD.]
A specimen collected by R. M. Harley (no. 19238) in Bahia, Brazil, on 2 March 1977 and described: "Erect orchid to 2.5m. Leaves coriaceous rather dark green plicate. Stems green mottled brown. Tepals magenta, outer tepals paler on outer surface." The habitat was described as being "with water worn horizontally-bedded sandstone at soil surface, with damp sand, sedge marsh exposed rock & waterfall. Open scrub to closed low woodland in the drier areas."
Photos at left and below by Erica Moron de Abad. This specimen is from Pampa Hermosa, San Ramon, Peru, blooming February 2003. She writes: "Pampa Hermosa (800 to 2,300 meters) is near San Ramon and S. rondoni grows at 2,000 m altitude in rocks with musgo (green sphagnum moss). It is a terrestrial orchid. [It grows in] full sun and high humidity near a waterfall, in high mountains [where] the rainfall is constant."
Frederico Carlos Hoehne 1910. Relat. Commiss. Linhas. Telegr. Estrateg. Matto Grosso Amazonas 5, Bot. pt. 1: 38, pl. 27.
F.C. Hoehne 1949. Iconografia de Orchidaceas do Brasil (Gêneros e principais espécies). Sao Paolo, VIII, 310 pages 316 plates (partly color) & 101 text-illustrations.
Francisco Miranda 1996. Orquideas da Amazonia Brasileira / Orchids from the Brazilian Amazon. 191 pp., 200 color photos, published in English or Portuguese.
Francisco Miranda 2000. "Orchids from the Brazilian Amazon."
Available on CD
[Boa Vista Orchids, Haines City, Florida]
International Plant Names Index (IPNI)
Catalogue of Vascular Plant Species of Eastern Brazil, The New York Botanical Garden.
Notes from an interview with Francisco Miranda
Ecosystems, habitats, and the Brazilian orchids --
Amazon Forest (rain forest)
The White Sobralia Page.