Green Fly Orchid
Epidendrum magnoliae - Muhl.
Orchidaceae (Orchid) Family

The Green Fly Orchid is a native evergreen perennial plant. An epiphite orchid (a plant that grows on another plant but is not a parasite), it is native to the southern third of Alabama that grows primarily on Southern Magnolia trees overhanging streams and rivers. It is also found growing on Live Oak, Bald Cypress, Swamp Black Gum, or American Beech trees. Green Fly Orchid is cespitose (forming mats of creeping stems). The roots are thick and covered in a layer called the vellum. The vellum is greenish in color and adheres tightly to the bark of the tree.

The leaves are alternate, petiolate, elliptic in outline, with entire margins; thick and leathery and dark green in color.

The flowers are produced in racemes of 6-14 flowers. An individual flower will have 3 sepals and 2 petals that are oblanceolate to spatulate in outline, and one petal that forms the lip. The lip is 3-lobed at the apex; greenish-yellow in color, sometimes with a faint purple cast; fragrant.

The fruit is a capsule with many small dust-like seed.


Painting of Green Fly Orchid by Steve Layton, 2018, Brewton, Alabama

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