Plant Listings

Oncidium ensatum

Oncidium ensatum Lindl.

Synonym: Oncidium floridanum 

Common Names: The Rich-Flowering Oncidium

Family:  Orchidaceae

Habit: Oncidium ensatum grows as an epilithic herb.  There is a shortened primary stem that is incased by imbricating sheaths.  There is a secondary stem forming a pseudobulb that is oblong and compressed, to 16 cm in height and enclosed by distichously arranged leaf bases.  The leaves are linear, to 120 cm in length and 3 cm wide, typically bright green.

The zygomorphic flowers are arranged in terminal panicles up to 125 cm in height. A bract subtends each flower.  The calyx has 3 yellow and brown sepals. The corolla has 3 petals with one forming the labellum. The labellum is 3-lobed and yellow.  The lateral lobes have entire or crenate reflexed margins and the middle lobe is entire or crenate with red-brown spots and 2 sets of tubercles.  The yellow column has lateral wings at the apex and is crenate.  The fruit is a capsule at maturity.

Habitat: Oncidium ensatum grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Forests as well as in mangrove areas and occasionally Pine Woodlands.

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Oncidium ensatum occurs in the northern islands and has been found in the central and southern islands (but is uncommon there). It also occurs in Florida and Cuba.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Oncidium ensatum is not used medicinally in the Bahamas.