Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Chicken Feet, Chicken Foot Orchid, Pearl Orchid
Chloranthus spicatus

Family: Chloranthaceae
Genus: Chloranthus (klo-RAN-th-us) (Info)
Species: spicatus (spi-KAH-tus) (Info)

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade


Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us


1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Ispahan On Jul 28, 2010, Ispahan from Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant has been a pure joy to have around. I obtained a couple of semi-dormant cuttings from a very kind and generous gardener in California in December 2009, and they rooted easily in a glass of water during the cold darkness of a Chicago winter. The cuttings have grown easily and steadily since that time in an unshaded north window. It started to bloom this May and has been forming waves of flowers every few weeks. I love everything about this plant: its understated elegance, quiet beauty and unusual flower form. But its best feature is definitely the wonderful fragrance of the flowers. It is a pure, clean, sweet, citrusy scent a lot like Aglaia odorata but maybe stronger. It can lightly fill up a room with its fragrance or it can send heady clouds of fragrance to a distant corner of the room. Curiously, if you put your nose in a flower, it only seems delicately fragrant, but yet it is able to throw its fragrance around like a ventriloquist to surprise you when you least expect it. Each chicken-foot-shaped flower only lasts a day or two but the plant is not stingy with bloom production and always has a cluster or two waiting to open. I am not sure why this plant isn't more well known or commercially available (I can't think of a single commercial source for this plant right now), but it is a nearly perfect houseplant: attractive, uncomplaining and fragrant.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Chicago, Illinois

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