Bletia. purpurea photo by Patricia Harding

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Orchid Species: Bletia purpurea

(This name is currently accepted by Kew.)

Bletia purpurea is an orchid species identified by (Lam.) A.DC. in 1840.
Genus
Bletia (Bletia.)
Grex
purpurea
(name currently accepted by Kew)
Parents
Species
Author
(Lam.) A.DC.
Year
1840
ORIGIN: This species is found from Florida, Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Leewards, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, the Windwards, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, French Guiana, Surinam, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and northern Brazil in dry woods and fields or on cliff faces, or at the base of tree trunks or in swamps up to 2000 meters.

DESCRIPTION: Small to large sized, cool to warm growing terrestrials or on rocks with subterranean, radish-shaped pseudobulbs with 2 deciduous, elliptic, petiolate, plicate leaves found that bloom in the spring and early summer on a basal, to 5' [150 cm] long, erect, basal, sometimes branching inflorescence with a few to many [9 to 40], color variable, successively opening flowers arising on a mature pseudobulb. In the Caribbean the natives boil the pseudobulbs and drink the broth as a cure for poisoning from eating bad fish. They also split the bulb and use it as a compress for open wounds as well as making a tea from dried pseudobulbs as a basis for a tonic that has a spicy taste.

FLOWER SIZE: 2 inches [5 cm] -- information provided by Jay Pfahl, author of the Internet Orchid Species Encyclopedia (IOSPE).
Other Names
Genus Name Genus Grex Name Year Author
Add+ Bletia Bletia acutipetala 1833 Hook.
Add+ Helleborine Helleborine americana 1821 Steud.
Add+ Limodorum Limo trifidum 1803 Michx.
Add+ Limodorum Limo tuberosum 1791 Jacq.
Add+ Limodorum Limo verecundum 1796 Salisb.
Add+ Bletia Bletia expansa 1829 Ten.
Add+ Cymbidium Cym trifidum 1805 (Michx.) Sw.
Add+ Cymbidium Cym verecundum 1799 (Salisb.) Sw.
Add+ Cymbidium Cym altum 1805 Willd.
Add+ Epidendrum Epi altum 1810 (Willd.) Poir. in J.B.A.M.de Lamarck
Add+ Bletia Bletia havannensis 1838 Lindl.
Add+ Bletia Bletia pallida 1822 G.Lodd.
Add+ Bletia Bletia pottsii 1887 S.Watson
Add+ Bletia Bletia pulchella 1850 auct.
Add+ Bletia Bletia verecunda 1813 (Salisb.) R.Br. in W.T.Aiton
Add+ Gyas Gyas verecunda 1812 (Salisb.) Salisb.
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