Acinetas growing in the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Acinetas at the Atlanta Bot. Garden; photo by N. Rach

Acineta Culture

© Nina Rach
Edited 12 April 2007

Acinetas grow as robust epiphytic (occasionally lithophytic) plants ranging from central Mexico to Ecuador. They normally grow epiphytically in wet, montane forest, but are occasionally found as terrestrials on steep embankments, at altitudes of 800 to 2000+ m.

Acineta foliage resembles the large, plicate leaves of Stanhopea and Lycaste, but the flowers are more similar to Peristeria, in that the side-lobes of the lip are joined by a central callus. Additionally, the hypochile (basal part) of the lip is long, at least as long as the sidelobes. Acinetas bear many-flowered, pendent racemes; so basket culture is recommended, in moist, intermediate to cool conditions.

Lots more info coming!

Web references for Acineta culture:

Coming soon!


Paul Allen 1949. Flora of Panama: Orchidaceae. [Acineta chrysantha, Acn. superba, p. 381-383]

Oakes Ames and Donovan Stewart Correll 1985. Orchids of Guatemala and Belize. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 779p. [Acineta barkeri, p.7, found in Mexico but not Guatemala]

Helmut Bechtel, Phillip Cribb, Edmund Launert 1992. The Manual of Cultivated Orchid Species -Third Edition. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 585p. [Acineta chrysantha, Acn. gymnostele, Acn. superba, pp. 46-47]

David E. Bennett and Eric A. Chrinstenson 1993+. Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum (Orchids of Peru). 600 drawings [Acineta superba (Kunth) Reichb.f., no. 203].

D.E. Breedlove 1986. "Flora de Chiapas," in: Listados Florísticos de México, 4: i--v, 1--246. [Acineta barkeri; chrysantha]

Rafael Lucas Rodriguez Caballero, Dora Emilia Mora, Maria Eugenia Barahona, Norris H. Williams 1986. Generos de Orquideas de Costa Rica. Editorial Universidad de Costa Rica. [pp. 220-221; watercolor of Acineta chrysantha (Morr.) Lindl. y Paxt.]

Colombian Orchid Society 1990. Native Colombian Orchids, vol. 1, pp.18-21. [-- species: Acineta ___]

Margaret A. Dix and Michael W. Dix 2000. Orchids of Guatemala, A Revised Annotated Checklist. St. Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 61p. [Acineta barkeri; Acn. chrysantha]

Calaway H. Dodson and P.M. Dodson 1980. Orchids of Ecuador. Fasc. 4: 301-400, in: Icones Plantarum Tropicarum. [Acineta collosa; pl. 359]

Calaway H. Dodson and P.M. Dodson 1984. Orchids of Ecuador. Fasc. 10, plates 901-1000, in: Icones Plantarum Tropicarum. Sarasota: The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. [Acineta dalessandroi; pl. 901]

Calaway H. Dodson & Rodrigo Escobar R. 1993. Native Ecuadorian Orchids 1: 1-207. [the genus Acineta on pp. 34-35, Acineta dalessandroi Dodson; Acn. superba (H.B.K.) Reichb.f.]

Robert L. Dressler 1993. Field Guide to the Orchids of Costa Rica and Panama. Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca. 374p.
[p.144-145 [Acineta superba; Acn. chyrsantha; Acn. sella turcica]

G.C.K. Dunsterville 1987. Venezuelan Orchids, Caracas: E. Armitano, Publisher, 128p. [Acineta alticola, pp.18-19; Acn. erythroxantha, pp.20-21; color plates]

G.C.K. and Elinor Dunsterville 1988. Orchid Hunting in the Lost World (And Elsewhere in Venezuela), West Palm Beach: American Orchid Society, 280p. [cover photo by G.C.K.D.: "Acineta superba, which occurs in cloud forests above the Venezuelan coast, produces spectacular, pendent inflorescenses of waxy, maroon-spotted flowers."]

G.C.K. Dunsterville and Leslie A. Garay 1959. Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated, Vol. 1. London: Andre Deutsch Limited. [Acineta fulva; Acn. superba, p.40]

G.C.K. Dunsterville and Leslie A. Garay 1965. Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated, Vol. 3. [Acineta alticola; Acn. glauca = Lued. pescatorei]

G.C.K. Dunsterville and Leslie A. Garay 1966. Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated, Vol. 4. [Acineta erythroxantha; Acn. Volteriana]

G.C.K. Dunsterville and Leslie A. Garay 1972. Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated, Vol. 5. [Acineta sella-turcica]

G.C.K. Dunsterville and Leslie A. Garay 1 Sept 1979. Orchids of Venezuela -- An Illustrated Field Guide Botanical Museum of Harvard University. [4 line-drawings on pp. 3-6: Acineta alticola; Acn. erythroxantha; Acn. sella-turcica; Acn. superba]

Rodrigo Escobar 1990. Native Columbian Orchids Medellin: Editorial Colina; Vol. 1, pg. 19-21. [Acineta ____]

Rodrigo Escobar 1994. Native Columbian Orchids Medellin: Editorial Colina; Vol. 5, pg. 629. [14 species are reported from Colombia but only four are known in cultivation.]

Günter Gerlach 1999. Die Orchideen, Band I/C, Lieferung 37/38 Subtribus: Stanhopeinae und Coeliopsidinae (Teil 1). Edited by Karlheinz Senghas, 128p., 142 illus.; ISBN 3-8263-3315-2. [9 species: Acineta alticola; antioquiae; barkeri; cryptodonta; dallesandroi; densa; erythroxantha; moorei; superba] [ offered by Blackwell, Berlin]

Günter Gerlach & Michael H. Weber 2003. "Acineta mireyae, Eine neue Stanhopeinae aus den Regenwäldern Panamas / Una neuva Stanhopeinae de las selvas de Panamá," in: Journal für den Orchideenfreund 10(3): 230-234+. [2 color photos; 1 line drawing] URL:

E. Hagsater and G.A. Salazar 1990. Icones Orchidacearum Fasc. 1. Orchids of Mexico Part I. Assoc. Mex. de Orquideologia, Mexico. [Acineta ____]

Fritz Hamer 1974. The Orchids of El Salvador / Las Orquideas de El Salvador I and II. San Salvador: Ministerio de Educacion.

Fritz Hamer 1981. The Orchids of El Salvador / Las Orquideas de El Salvador III. Sarasota: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. vol. 3, pp. 39-41. [Acineta ____]

Fritz Hamer 1988. "Orchids of Central America: An Illustrated Field Guide (A-L)," in: Selbyana 10: Supplement, 1--430. [Acineta chrysantha]

Harvard University Herbarium (as of 10 April 2003), Index of Botanical Specimens.
[6 specimens of 4 Acineta species listed: Acn. alticola C. Schweinfurth; Acn. cryptodonta H. G. Reichenbach; Acn. erythroxantha H. G. Reichenbach; Acn. sella-turcica H. G. Reichenbach]

Alex D. Hawkes (1965) Encyclopaedia of Cultivated Orchid Species, an illustrated descriptive manual. London: Faber and Faber, 602p. [Acineta chrysantha, Acn. superba, Acn. barkeri, pp. 29-31; B&W plate of Acn. chrysantha follows p.32]

Clarence Kl. Horich (1967) "Eine neve mittelamerikanische Acineta," in: Die Orchidee 18: 306-310. [Acineta ____]

Alexander von Humboldt, A.J.A. Bonpland, and C.S. Kunth [HBK] 1815. [Anguloa superba] in: Nova Genera et Species Plantarum. [specimens found in the Catacocha Valley near Zaruma, Ecuador]

Alexander von Humboldt, A.J.A. Bonpland, and C.S. Kunth [HBK] 1816. [Anguloa superba] in: Nova Genera et Species Plantarum I (quarto edition). Librairie Grecque-Latine-Allemande, Paris. IDC 1988. The Reichenbach Herbarium/ Inter Documentation Company, Leiden, The Netherlands.

ING: Index Nominum Genericorum, from the U.S. National Herbarium, Dept. of Systematic Biology - Botany, Smithsonian Institution.

P.M. Jørgensen and S. León-Yánez (eds.) 1999. "Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador," in: Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden, 75: i--viii, 1--1182. [Acineta dalessandroi]

C. H. Lankester (Feb. 1959) "Notes from Las Concavas: The Golden-flowered Acineta," in: Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 28(2): 116-117. [Acineta chrysantha; was Acn. densa]

Lem. 1855. "Acineta barkeri var. aurantiaca," in: Illinois Hort. 2: tab. 44.

Lucien Linden June 1 , 1896. Journal des Orchidees. Gand, Imprimerie Eug. Vander Haeghen, 347p. [Acineta humboldti, pp. 87-88]

John Lindley 1843a. [Peristeria humboldtii] in: Edwards's Botanical Register 29: t. 18.

John Lindley 1843b. [Acineta] in: Edwards's Botanical Register 29: Misc. 67-68. [Acineta barkeri; humboldtii]

John Lindley & Paxton 1849. "Acineta chrysantha (C. Morren)," in: Annales de la Societe Royale d'Agriculture et de Botanique de Gand: Journal d'Horticulture et des Sciences Accessoires 5: 375.

I. McLeish, N. R. Pearce & B. R. Adams 1995. Native Orchids of Belize . 1-278. [Acineta hrubyana, as Lacaena bicolor]

Rafael Montes de Oca (1963; first and only edition) Hummingbirds and Orchids of Mexico. Editorial Fournier, SA, Mexico. Printed by K.G. Lohse, Frankfurt-am-Main. [Acineta barkeri]

Pedro Ortiz Valdivieso 1976. Orquideas de Colombia. Bogota, 230p. [Acineta erythroxantha; pg. 56, line drawing]

Luis F. Osorio 1941. Orquideas Colombianas / Colombian Orchids. Medellin: Felix de Bedout e Hijos, 106p. [Acineta sp.; cover embossing; color frontpiece; p.97, two B&W photos]

Mariano Ospina Hernandez 1958. Orquideas Colombianas / Colombian Orchids. Bogota: Publicaciones Tecnicas Ltda., 305p. [Acineta densa; Humboldtii; superba; manizalensis; pp. 148-153]

Mariano Ospina H. and Robert L. Dressler 1974. Orquideas de las Americas. Bogota: Litografia Arco, 496p. [Acineta erythroxantha; Fig. 151, color]

Guido F.J. Pabst and F. Dungs 1975. Orchidaceae Brasilienses, Volume I. Hildesheim: Brücke-Verlag Kurt Schmersow. [Acineta ____]

Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach 1852. "Acineta longiscapa (A. Rich. & Galeotti)," in: Botanische Zeitung. Berlin 10: 706.

H. G. Reichenbach 1852. "Acineta sella-turcica," in: Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 10: 705. [now Acineta chrysantha?]

H. G. Reichenbach 1854. [Acineta cryptodonta; Acn. erythroxantha] in: Bonplandia 2: 92.

H. G. Reichenbach 1861. [Acineta superba] in: Walp. Ann. vi. 609.
[transferred Anguloa superba H.B.K. 1815 to the genus Acineta]

H. G. Reichenbach 1862. [Acineta superba] in: Annales Botanices Systematicae 6: 609.
[transferred Anguloa superba H.B.K. 1815 to the genus Acineta]

H. G. Reichenbach 1864. "Acineta schilleriana," in: Annales Botanices Systematicae 6: 609. [Colombia]

H. G. Reichenbach 1879. "Acineta sulcata," in: Gardener's Chronicle, new series 11(1): 652. [Ecuador]

H. G. Reichenbach 1882. "Acineta hrubyana," in: Gardener's Chronicle & Agricultural Gazette N.S. 18(2): 102.

S.S. Renner, H. Balslev, & L. B. Holm-Nielson. 1990. "Flowering Plants of Amazonian Ecuador - A Checklist," in: AAU Reports, 24: 242. [Acineta ____]

Robert Allen Rolfe 1911. [Acineta moorei] in: Botanical Magazine (ser.4, 7): pl. 8392. [Colombia]

Gustavo A. Romero 1998. Venezuela, Orchid Paradise. Caracas: Armitano Editores, 204p. [Acineta superba; p.11 color; p.16 text]

Gustavo A. Romero and German Carnevali Fernandez-Concha (15 July 2000) Orchids of Venezuela, A Field Guide (2nd Ed.). Caracas: Armitano Editores, 3 gray volumes in a purple slipcase. 70 extra drawings added to the 1050 previously published by Dunsterville and Garay in the original 1979 Field Guide, and taxonomic corrections. [same 4 acinetas as Dunsterville & Garay 1979, on pp. 3-6: Acineta alticola; Acn. erythroxantha; Acn. sella-turcica; Acn. superba]

Gerardo A. Salazar & M. Soto Arenas (2002) "Acineta hagsateri, sp. nov.," in: Orchids of Mexico Parts 2-3, Icones Orchidacearum 5-6 Pl. 514.

Sander 1898. "Acineta colosa," in: Orchid Review 6: 287.

Rudolf Schlechter 1914-15. Die Orchideen. Berlin: Paul Parey.

Rudolf Schlechter 1917. [Revision of the Genus Acineta], in: Orchis. Monatsschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Orchideenkunde 11: 28-45, fig. 9-15. [covers 13 species: Acineta antioquiae; arcuata; beyrodtiana; confusa; gymnostele; hennisiana; superba; wolteriana]

Rudolf Schlechter 1919. Die Orchideenflora der südamerikanischen Kordillerenstaaten. I. Venezuela. Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis Behifte 6: 1-100.

Rudolf Schlechter 1920. Die Orchideenflora der südamerikanischen Kordillerenstaaten. II. Colombia. Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis

Rudolf Schlechter 1924. Beitrage zur Orchideenkunde von Colombia.

Rudolf Schlechter 1927. Die Orchideen. 2nd Ed.

Rudolf Schlechter 1929. Figuren-Atlas su der Orchideenfloren der südamerika. Kordillerenstaaten.

Charles Schweinfurth 1951. Acineta alticola, in: Fieldiana, Botany 28(1): 192, fig.37.

Charles Schweinfurth 1958-61. Orchids of Peru I-IV. [amazingly, there are no Acinetas listed in vol. 3]

Charles Schweinfurth April 1967. "Orchidaceae of the Guyana Highland," in: Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden 14(3): 69-214. [Acineta alticola on pg. 171]

Tom and Marion Sheehan (Sept)1992. 'Orchid Genera Illustrated, 148. Acineta,' in: AOS Bull. 61(9):882-883. [color plate of Acineta chrysantha]

Victoria Sosa and Teodoro Platas 1998. "Extinction and Persistence of Rare Orchids in Veracruz, Mexico," in: Conservation Biology 12(2): 451-455. [Acineta barkeri]

M. Soto Arenas (2002) "Acineta salazarii, sp. nov.," in: Orchids of Mexico Parts 2-3, Icones Orchidacearum 5-6 Pl. 515.

Julian A. Steyermark, Paul E. Berry, Bruce K. Holst 1995-2001. Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana Project, Volumes 1-6. St. Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. [Acineta ____]
[Volumes 7-9 remain to be published]

R. Valencia, N. Pitman, S. León-Yánez & P. M. Jørgensen 2000. Libro Rojo de las Plantas Endémicas del Ecuador, i--iv, 1--489. [Acineta dalessandroi]

W. Mark Whitten, Norris H. Williams, and Mark W. Chase 2000. "Subtribal and Generic Relationships of Maxillarieae (Orchidaceae) with Emphasis on Stanhopeinae: Combined Molecular Evidence," in: American Jour. of Botany 87(12): 1842-1856. Article in .pdf format [Acineta ___]

L.O. Williams 1956. An enumeration of the Orchidaceae of Central America, British Honduras and Panama, in: Ceiba 5.

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