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Belize’s Cowhorn Orchid

20 January 2012 2 Comments

Belize's Cowhorn Orchid

Today’s Belize Photo of the Day is the Cowhorn Orchid and it is scientifically known as Cyrtopodium punctatum. This species of orchid is commonly found in diverse ecosystems ranging from Florida, Cuba, Central America and to Northern South America. Its dazzling flowers are distributed in the following Belize’s districts - Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize, Cayo, and Stann Creek.

Its  flowering season runs from March through May and it is during these months that the epiphytic orchids burst to their peak. Its flowers, as the name implies, resemble cow horns although many refer to it as cigar orchid for its close similarity to cigars.

The Cowhorn Orchid mainly grows on Savannah and can be compared to a piphite. The Cyrtopodium punctatum is also a deciduous species and each winter its leaves are lost as it prepares for a new birth of flowers which are a mix of purple, red, orange and yellow, and are each about 2.5cm in size.

Photo taken at Chaa Creek by Naturalist Guide: Allan Chan

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  • Gumercindo Mai said:

    The above-mentioned orchid is not what you are referring to as the Cow Horn, the Scientific name is Myrmecophila spp. can either be tibicinis or brysiana. Just a correction.

  • Chaa Creek Blog Guide (author) said:

    Hi Gumercindo,

    The name of the Orchid is correct. The Myrmecophila spp is similar in appearance to this orchid and that is why many people confuse it with the Cyrtopodium punctatum.

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