Sobralia rosea

Poeppig & Endlicher 1836

Native to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru

Edited 22 March 2007
© Nina Rach

Sobralia rosea by Erica Morón

Sobralia rosea Poeppig & Endlicher
Original publication: Nov. Gen. Sp. Pl. 1: 54, t. 93. 1836.
Type specimen:

This terrestrial species grows on the steep eastern slopes of the Andes, but is also found in the Coastal and Amazonian regions of Ecuador, from 0-2000 meters. It has been collected in the provinces of Azuay, Carchi, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Ríos, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Pastaza, Pichincha, Tungurahua, and Zamora-Chinchipe.

The canes reach a height of three meters. The large flowers are borne apically and have white to rose-colored sepals and petals and a darker pink to purple lip with purple or reddish-purple markings and a frilled margin. CITES Appendix II species.


Photo on right from Erica Morón, Peru -->

Sobralia rosea by JEM
According to Delfina's website, this species requires cool conditions, high light and good ventilation in cultivation.


Sobralia rosea by Kerry Dressler

<-- Photo on left by Kerry Dressler.



Photo on right from JEM Orchids -->
Plants are available from JEM Orchids.


Sobralia rosea by Ted Green

Photo at right by Ted Green, Hawaii, who writes:

"S. rosea seems to like my growing conditions because it flowers regularly. It is a beautiful thing with 5" fragrant flowers AND they last 3-4 days. My plants have flowered for the past month and are still kicking out buds from the zig-zag peduncle. I am making crosses with this one to capture its good characters."

Venezuelan Reference:
Ernesto Foldats (1969) "Orchidaceae," in: T. Lasser, Flora de Venezuela 15(1): 169-201. Caracas: Edicion Especial del Instituto Botanico. [Sob. candida, ciliata, dichotoma, fimbriata, fragrans, infundibuligera, liliastrum, macrophylla, paradisiaca, rosea, sessilis, speciosa, stenophylla, suaveolens, violacea, yauaperyensis]

Colombian References:
Colombian Orchid Society (1992) Native Colombian Orchids, Volume 4: Porroglossum - Zygosepalum. Medellin: Compania Litografica Nacional S.A., 618p. [Sob. biflora Ruiz & Pavon ; Sob. bimaculata Garay ; Sob. cattleya Rchb. f.; Sob. dichotoma Ruiz & Pavon ; Sob. fragrans Lindley ; sob. klotzcheana Rchb. f. ; Sob. lancea Garay ; Sob. powellii Schlecter ; Sob. pucherrima Garay; Sob. rosea Poeppig & Endl.; Sob. suaveolens Rchb. f. ; Sob. valida Rolfe ; Sob. virginalis F. Peeters & Cogn. ; Sob. violacea Linden ex Lindley]

Colombian Orchid Society (June 1998) Native Colombian Orchids, Volume 6: Supplement Leucohyle - Zootrophion. Medellin: Compania Litografica Nacional S.A., p. 847-1069. [Sobralias on pp.1014-1019: S. crocea, S. violacea, S. uribei, S. macrophylla, S. rosea, S. atropubescens, S. cf. gloriosa]

Ecuadoran References:
Calaway H. Dodson (1988) "A list of the orchid species reported for Ecuador," in: Orquídeas de la costa del Ecuador, pp. 115-129.

Leslie A. Garay (Dec. 1978) Flora of Ecuador: Orchidaceae, in: Opera Botanica, Stockholm: NFR, 305p. [24 Sobralia sp. on pp. 110-134: Sob. atropubescens, biflora, candida, ciliata, corazoi, crocea, d'orbignyana, fenzliana, fimbriata, gloriosa, kermesina, klotzscheana, lancea, lepida, macrophylla, pardalina, persimilis, powellii, pulcherrima, rigidissima, rosea, setigera, sobralioides, valida]

Harvard University Herbarium (as of 4 Oct. 2003), Index of Botanical Specimens. URL: The AMES herbarium contains two specimens collected in Pichincha, Ecuador (the first by E. Asplund in July 1955, and the second by G.W. Harling & L. Andersson in Jan. 1974). Both were originally indexed as Sob. pulcherrima by Leslie Garay, and later identified as Sobralia rosea by Calaway Dodson.

Peter Møller Jørgensen & Susana León-Yánez (eds.) (1999) Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador in: Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 75: i--viii, 1--1182.
[Sobralia atropubescens, biflora, candida, ciliata, corazoi, crocea, dichotoma, dorbignyana, ecuadorana, fenzliana, fimbriata, fragrans, gentryi, gloriosa, hagsateri, kermesina, klotzscheana, lancea, lipida, luerorum, macrophylla, madisonii, neudeckeri, oroana, pardalina, persimilis, piedadae, powellii, pulcherrima, rigidissima, rosea, setigera, sobralioides, stevensonii, suaveolens, tamboana, valida, violacea, yauaperyensis, pp.757-759]

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:
"185. Sobralia rosea Poepp. & Endl. Steep banks in sec. for., 1200-1300 m; terr., canes to 3 m, fls. white, lip with purplish lines: 27079*; Asplund 1571; Sodiro 141."

Peruvian References:
David E. Bennett and Eric A. Christenson (1995) Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum, Plates 201-400. Lima: A. Pastorelli de Bennett, 400pp., unbound. [Sobralias on Plates 380 (macrophylla), 381(S. rosea), 382(yauaperyensis)]

David E. Bennett Jr., Eric A. Christenson, B.A. Moises Cavero, and M.M. Leon (1996) "The sobralias of Tingo Maria, Peru," in Orchids 65(8): 820-825. [fimbriata, rosea, yauaperyensis]

Charles Schweinfurth (April 9, 1958) Orchidaceae, Orchids of Peru, in: Fieldiana, Botany 30(1): 68-77. [Sobralia amplexicaulis, biflora, candida, crocea, dichotoma, d'orbignyana, fimbriata, klotzscheana, leucoxantha, rosea, scopulorum, setigera, violacea, weberbaueriana]

Sobralia rosea photo by Isaias Rolando, posted on the Club Peruana de Orquideas website.

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