Butterfly Orchid

Butterfly orchid is a common name for numerous species of orchid, including the genera Platanthera and Psychopsis. Some are grown as ornamental plants because of their attractive flowers.

Butterfly Orchid

The Psychopsis genus includes about 5 species[1] of epiphytic orchids that are native to Central and South America. The flowers look like butterflies in that the upper 2 petals are narrow and antenna-shaped, the 2 lateral sepals are more prominent and resemble spotted wings.

Platanthera Bifolia

The central lip is usually monochrome, similar to the butterfly’s body. The lip is usually yellow, while the remaining sepals and petals are usually orange, yellow, or reddishbrown. A common ornamental species is Psychopsis papilio, and it has several horticultural varieties.

Platanthera Chlorantha

The genus Platanthera consists of around 100 species native to North Africa, Eurasia, and Central and North America.

Well-known species are the small white-flowered orchid (Platanthera bifolia) and the large butterfly orchid (Platanthera chlorantha) with larger greenish-white blooms. Both plants have 5 to 15 fragrant flowers arranged on a spike.

Cite This Page

BioExplorer.net. (2023, October 01). Butterfly Orchid. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/plants/flowers/butterfly-orchid/.
BioExplorer.net. "Butterfly Orchid" Bio Explorer, 01 October 2023, https://www.bioexplorer.net/plants/flowers/butterfly-orchid/.
BioExplorer.net. "Butterfly Orchid" Bio Explorer, October 01 2023. https://www.bioexplorer.net/plants/flowers/butterfly-orchid/.
Key References
  • [1]“Butterfly orchid – Florida Wildflower Foundation”. Accessed December 03, 2021. Link.


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