Saturday 15 June
Orchid (Bifrenaria harrisoniae)
Orchid fact file
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Like most epiphytic orchids, Bifrenaria harrisoniae has a swollen storage organ known as a ‘pseudobulb’ at its base (2) (3). The prominent pseudobulb is conical to egg-shaped and ranges in colour from yellow to green (2). Arising from the apex of each pseudobulb is a single dark-green, pleated leaf, and a one to three flowered inflorescence (2) (4). The waxy petals and sepals of the sweetly fragrant flowers are generally creamy-white to pale yellow (4) (5), while the hairy lip is reddish pink with a deep yellow centre (2) (4) (5).
- Height: 10 - 40 cm (2)
- Leaf length: 8 - 38.5 cm (2)
- Leaf width: 3 - 7cm (2)
- Inflorescence: 2 - 20 cm (2)
Bifrenaria harrisoniae tends to grow as an epiphyte in closed forests, but in open areas is often found growing on rocks (2) (4). Its showy flowers can be seen from July to December and are visited by euglossine bees and bumblebees, which almost certainly act as pollinators (2) (6).Top
Endemic to Brazil, Bifrenaria harrisoniae occurs in the states of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina and São Paulo (2).Top
Found at elevations from 750 to 1,800 metres in wet montane forests, riparian forests and ‘campos rupestres’, a shrubby grassland habitat of eastern Brazil (2).Top
This species has not yet been assessed by the IUCN.Top
Bifrenaria harrisoniae is commonly cultivated (4) and there are no known significant threats to wild populations.Top
There are currently no known conservation measures in place for Bifrenaria harrisoniae.Top
Find out more
For further information on the conservation of orchids see:
- Orchid Conservation International:
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- A plant that uses another plant, typically a tree, for its physical support, but which does not draw nourishment from it.
- The enlarged third petal of an orchid flower that often acts as a landing platform for pollinators.
- Part of the flower (collectively comprising the calyx) that forms the protective outer layer of a flower bud.
- ITIS (January, 2009)
- Koehler, S. and Amaral, M.C.E. (2004) A taxonomic study of the South American genus Bifrenaria Lindl. (Orchidaceae). Brittonia, 56(4): 314 - 345.
- Hew, C.S. and Yong, J.W.H. (1997) Physiology of tropical orchids in relation to the industry. World Scientific, Singapore.
- la Croix, I. (2008) The New Encyclopedia of Orchids: 1500 Species in Cultivation. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.
- Cullen, J. (1992) The orchid book: a guide to identification of cultivated orchid species. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Davies, K.L. and Stpiczyńska, M. (2008) Labellar Micromorphology of Two Euglossine-pollinated Orchid Genera; Scuticaria Lindl. and Dichaea Lindl. Annals of Botany, 102(5): 805 - 824.
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