Plant Article

Psychopsis papilio

Psychopsis paipilio

Scientific Name: Psychopsis papilio
Common Name: Butterfly Orchid
Native Location: Trinidad and South America
Description: The Butterfly Orchid has large yellow and brown flowers with almost antennae-like petals which give it the appearance of a butterfly. As an epiphytic orchid, it would be found growing naturally on other plants. Each flower spike produces only one flower at a time, but new buds continue to form behind the previous one and a single spike may bloom for years. Butterfly Orchids have attractive dark green foliage with purplish-red mottling. Orchidmania of the 19th Century is said to have begun with the Butterfly Orchid. In 1833, Wm. George Spencer Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire and future president of the Royal Horticultural Society, saw this orchid in full bloom and was so impressed by it that he decided to dedicate himself to orchids.