Species Orchid, Ground Orchid, Large Purple Orchid, Pleated Leaf Spathoglottis

Spathoglottis plicata

Family: Orchidaceae (or-kid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Spathoglottis (spath-oh-GLOT-tiss) (Info)
Species: plicata (ply-KAY-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Bletia angustifolia
Synonym:Calanthe poilanei
Synonym:Paxtonia rosea
Synonym:Spathoglottis angustifolia
Synonym:Spathoglottis daenikeri




Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Magenta (pink-purple)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Apopka, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Bradenton Beach, Florida

Deland, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Hialeah, Florida

Hobe Sound, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Homestead, Florida(2 reports)

Jacksonville, Florida

Loxahatchee, Florida(2 reports)

Merritt Island, Florida

Miami, Florida(3 reports)

Micanopy, Florida

Miccosukee Cpo, Florida

Mulberry, Florida

Naples, Florida(2 reports)

New Port Richey, Florida

North Port, Florida

Ocoee, Florida

Odessa, Florida(2 reports)

Pompano Beach, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Safety Harbor, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Venice, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida(2 reports)

Kihei, Hawaii

Ookala, Hawaii

Maurepas, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Florence, Mississippi

Saint Joseph, Missouri

Mooresville, North Carolina

Salinas, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Beaufort, South Carolina

Harlingen, Texas

Houston, Texas

Humble, Texas

Spring, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 12, 2018, arbuck from Micanopy, FL wrote:

Just bought 2 of these for $3.00 each on the sale cart at Lowe's in Gainesville, FL. Saw "ground orchid" and pleated leaves and thought I was getting Chinese bletilla, of which I have a few growing in the ground here. Closer view showed these to be Spathoglottix Plicata. These seem to be tropical, and unlike bletilla, will not overwinter here in zone 9a due to occasional freezes. They're listed as invasive in tropical areas here:
[[email protected]]

This won't be a problem for me. I'll keep them potted, and the winter freezes should mop up any seed pods that escape.


On Oct 14, 2013, GulfwaterLily from Naples, FL wrote:

I just bought this plant 4 days ago (only $6.98 for a 1.27 gallon pot at Walmart!).It is beautiful! I have been looking for one for years. The.tag in the plant container said it needed 4-8 hours of sun a day, so I put it in an area where it gets almost 7 hours of sun daily. Well, THAT'S TOO MUCH SUN!!! At least it is here in southwest Florida (zone 10a). When I went out to my garden this afternoon, I noticed a few of the leaves have burned after only 4 days. I guess I should have checked Dave's Garden's Plant Files first! Lesson learned. The plant is in bloom and has many more unopened buds..The flowers are a bright magenta color which contrasts beautifully with it's long, medium green leaves. Unfortunately, I bought it towards the end of it's blooming period (that's probably why it was s... read more


On Aug 12, 2009, GardnGator from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I loved the look of this plant and so bought several, but the winter must have been tough on them, because half didn't come back at all, and those that did haven't bloomed. From your comments, it sounds like I needed to be more vigilant about watering them where I planted them in the yard. We had a colder than usual winter (for the 21st century, anyway) here in Big Bend Florida, so that may have done them in. Wish I could have more success; I'm trying curcuma this year.


On Feb 2, 2008, hht from Bradenton, FL wrote:

I live in sw fl and had the plant in full sun; seemed too much. So i moved it to partial shade. The foliage appears better, however, i can't get it to bloom. Any suggestions for a fertilizer?


On Jun 7, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

These plants were recently offered in the dozens at Lowe's for about $17 each and I couldn't resist buying one, but there was no cultivation information provided with the plant. From the reports above, it looks as though I might have to remove it from the ground and keep it through the winter as a potted orchid in my greenhouse (Zone 8b/9a borderline here). I successfully grow other Chinese ground orchids outdoors and was hoping this one would also survive our winters with occasional hard freezes. I would appreciate hearing from other gardeners that may have had success with this orchid outdoors in colder climates.


On Oct 23, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

A small ground orchid, almost stemless, with arched, pleated leaves. The flowers are medium sized (for an orchid), pink, with a red spot on the labellum, coming from the top of an erec inflorescence.

I tried to cultivate this one, but found out too late that it requires a moisture that I could never give it in my apartment. In the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, there are lots of them planted next to small lakes and creeks, inside the orchidarium, so I guess thatīs how much moisture it needs to survive. Also, it must be planted on rich organic soil, and avoid direct sunlight. High air humidity, and high temperatures are needed too.


On Oct 19, 2002, Lophophora from Tokyo,
Japan wrote:

You often see this orchid planted in large beds in such places a Singapore and Jakarta, where they bloom continuously. Unfortunately for us in non-tropical climates, the plant is very tender - I've lost pots grown from seed (germinates readily in a leaf mould/garden loam mixture at 28-30 degrees C.) after outside temps have dropped below 8 C. Appreciates *excellent* air circulation and very bright light, as well as hot sweaty temperatures, and therefore does not usually thrive as a window sill orchid. Unless you live in the tropics or subtropics, you'll probably need a green house to grow this plant to its full potential.


On Oct 19, 2002, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Wonderful little plant. In my garden, it starts blooming in April and continues on into November. It also spreads, but slowly.


On Feb 14, 2002, Dinu from Mysore,
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

The flowers will be in bloom for nearly 2-3 months.