Dichromanthus aurantiacus

And another thank you to David Tarrant, retired UBC Botanical Garden staff member, for photographs from the central highlands of Mexico.

In his correspondence with me, David relayed the following observations: “There is quite a decent population of [these orchids] above Las Cabras in the Picachos. They seem to survive amongst rocks and cacti, which probably helps protect them from grazing animals.” This particular plant was blooming on the edge of an oak forest.

Online information about Dichromanthus aurantiacus is difficulty to come by, in part due to changing names. At least fourteen different scientific names have been applied to this taxon, including Spiranthes aurantiaca and Stenorrhynchos aurantiacus (aurantiacus means “orange”), with Dichromanthus aurantiacus only having been published in 2002. One of the sites with the best snippets of information is the Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia (Dichromanthus aurantiacus), which provides a description of the plant, habitat, and distribution (wet montane forests of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras).

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum’s Center for Sonoran Desert Studies has a research program into the Sierra Madre Occidental of Eastern Sonora, Mexico (Yécora region). Along with a gallery of plants one might find associated with Dichromanthus aurantiacus (here named Stenorrhynchos aurantiacus), reading the other pages from the research program provides many details about this intriguing region.

Dichromanthus aurantiacus
Dichromanthus aurantiacus

7 responses to “Dichromanthus aurantiacus”

  1. Sue Webster

    What an unusual combination of plants in the second photo! I would never dream of planting an orchid, a cactus and a fern together in my garden! Nature always surprises us.

  2. CherriesWalks

    Is it a parasite plant?

  3. Jan Phillips

    Re Sues comment about finding the range of plants together.
    I remember on my first trip to an exotic location, Peru, I was intrigued by the sight of cacti, epiphytes and moisture loving plants in the same habitat.
    It does kind of blow your presumptions out of the water a bit doesn’t it?

  4. elizabeth a airhart

    a brand new plant to me thank you
    i have been searching on the net found
    a site called wandein’ weeta
    lives in pelta lower frasier valley bc
    mentions this site many links and blogs
    the red is just very spanish and hope it would
    grow in florida da nada

  5. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    Lovely. Another delightful fuzzy creature!
    The Sonoran Desert is one of my favourite regions of the world. I’ve seen parts of it in the Southwest U.S.

  6. Mark B Emmer

    Found two examples on a hike today above Lake Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, México, in a grazing field. Identified with Plantsnap application on my phone. Images here, with geolocation info embedded. I think it’s correct.


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