Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Species, Natural Hybrid Orchid, Monk Orchid, Spotted Oeceoclades
Oeceoclades maculata

Family: Orchidaceae (or-kid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Oeceoclades (ee-see-o-KLAY-deez) (Info)
Species: maculata (mak-yuh-LAH-tuh) (Info)
Additional cultivar information: (natural hybrid)

Synonym:Graphorkis maculata
Synonym:Limodorum maculatum
Synonym:Oeceoclades mackenii
Synonym:Oeceoclades monophylla
Synonym:Oeceoclades paraguayensis

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)
6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
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

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #1 of Oeceoclades maculata by Monocromatico

By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #2 of Oeceoclades maculata by Monocromatico

By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #3 of Oeceoclades maculata by Monocromatico

By jnana
Thumbnail #4 of Oeceoclades maculata by jnana

By MediaHound
Thumbnail #5 of Oeceoclades maculata by MediaHound

By MediaHound
Thumbnail #6 of Oeceoclades maculata by MediaHound

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #7 of Oeceoclades maculata by Xenomorf

There are a total of 9 photos.
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2 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive RedLeopard2 On Dec 26, 2012, RedLeopard2 from Naples, FL wrote:

I have three acres of mostly wooded property outside Naples, FL. This orchid is common here where it's shady and there is leaf litter accumulation or mulch. The flowers aren't showy, but the mottled foliage is quite attractive.

Technically it's considered an invasive weed, but this is a rather harsh designation. Yes they do pop up regularly in areas where I don't want them, but I just pull them up. They have become widespread because they set seed readily, and the seed are easily carried by wind. They're always around, but they're few and far between, and they grow slowly. No problem. I wish all my weeds were so well behaved.

Neutral dyzzypyxxy On Sep 12, 2012, dyzzypyxxy from Sarasota, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This orchid is now a Class 2 invasive weed in Florida, although many botanists think this classification is unnecessary. It does spread easily by seeding itself, and is well adapted to oak hammocks, as well as urban gardens with oak trees. But it is not aggressive, does not out-compete other native plants, and so does not form a monoculture as a true "invasive" plant does.

I was given a few starts recently by someone who found a colony growing in a mulch pile in a neighbor's yard. I'm trying them in a shady bed under an oak, surrounded by gravel driveway and a "mow what grows" lawn. I'll also keep a couple of starts in a pot inside the pool cage, and will hope to report back what happens.

Neutral sunbshine On Mar 5, 2011, sunbshine from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

I found this plant in my yard and I know I did not plant it.
The leaves are different then the one shown in your plant
file. The flower looks the same. It comes from a small bulb
in the ground. Found in Oaklalnd Park Fl. I found this plant
also at the Ft. Lauderdale hollywood Airport.

Neutral NativePlantFan9 On Nov 29, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

The Monk Orchid is also now common in the southern counties of Florida and is spreading rapidly into the central half of the state. It was introduced from Africa and has become naturalized and established in natural areas and disturbed areas of much of south Florida, mostly due to discarded plants in mulch, waste or garbage, but also as escapees from backyards and gardens as well. There is also an isolated population of the species in Alachua County in north-central Florida and are thriving there, probably sustained and established due to discarded plants as well. The Alachua County population may succumb to freezes and cool temperatures but quickly regenerate or recover, sustaining or spreading the population, despite that the species is cold-sensitive in winter in north-central, north, and parts of central Florida. This orchid is very similar to Sansevieria, or Snake Plant AKA Mother-in-Law's Tongue, except that the flowers are not in clusters like a Sansevieria. The species is becoming increasingly common and spreading in south and central Florida, and may impact native plants such as groundcovers, although it is not yet listed as a pest or potential pest on either category of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's Pest Plant Lists.

MORE FACTS - Now found in natural and disturbed areas of much of southern Florida; spreadfing northward into central counties of Florida. The species, although cold-sensitive, quickly regenerates in spring, after a freeze or cool weather in Florida, alllowing it to spread as far north as north-central and northern Florida (So far, only one population is in north-central Florida, in Alachua County; however, the population is sustaining or spreading).

Positive Monocromatico On Jun 13, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This terrestrial orchid has an uncertain origin, probably native from west tropical Africa. However, it is a volunteer plant from Argentina to Florida, living under a large range of soil types, prefering light shaded places and moderate moisture/humidity.

It has egg-shaped pseudobulbs that stay half burried, with only 1 leaf on the top. This leaf is leathery, deep green, with several dark green spots and irregular marks (an sterile plant looks very like a short Sansevieria). The floral stalk grows from the base of the plant, bearing several small, cream to white flowers with a pink labellum. The flowers are exceptionally fertile, and it is very common to see seed pods on the plant (which would explain how it became a successful plant in America).

It needs light shade, well drained soil, regular watering, and moderate to high temperatures.

I found a few of them growing wild on white sand under a fig tree, and for a moment I thought it was a Sansevieria. If I didnt notice the pseudobulbs, I would just have ignored this orchid, since it was not blooming. And interesting orchid that can be cultivated for its interesting foliage.


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

Brooksville, Florida
De Leon Springs, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2 reports)
Fruitland Park, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Homestead, Florida
Islamorada, Florida
Naples, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Kansas City, Missouri

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