Sievekingia fimbriata photo by Patricia Harding, flowering May 2005
Sievekingia fimbriata photo by Patricia Harding, 19 May 2005

The Genus Sievekingia

Rchb. f. 1871

Edited 27 April 2007
© Nina Rach

This charming genus with bright, colorful flowers was named for a Bürgermeister from Hamburg, Germany, Dr. Sieveking, and now comprises at least 14 species, all native to tropical America. The leaves are medium to dark green with prominent ribs and the plants resemble small stanhopeas. The flowers usually have a crystalline texture, and range in color from white through cream, all shades of yellow, to orange, with or without dark speckles, spots, or bars. The inflorescences are pendant, but they do not grow directly downward, as do most Stanhopea inflorescences. Hence, they can be grown in pots, baskets, or on mounts. Do not let the plants dry out. Potential for growing under lights.

The type species is Sievekingia suavis Rchb.f., published in Beitr. Syst. Pfl. 3 (1871). Genus dubium ORCHIDEARUM. Cf. Benth. & Hook. f. iii. 477.

Curry et al. (1991) suggest that Stanhopea tricornis may be a hybrid between a species of Sievekingia and Stanhopea.

The species:
Sievekingia butcheri R.L.Dressler [Panama] -- Orquideologia 13(3): 221 (-222), figs. (1979). Type species collected in Coclé, Panama H. P. Butcher s. n. 6 Nov 1976.

Sievekingia colombiana Garay 1969 [Colombia; Ecuador] -- Orquideologia, 4: 18, figs. (1969). Type species collected in Antioquia, Colombia.

Sievekingia cristata Garay 1970 [Ecuador] -- Orch. Rev. lxxviii: 193 (1970).

Sievekingia dunstervilleorum Foldats 1968 [Venezuela] -- Acta Bot. Venez. 3: 399, fig. 30 (1968) [dunstervillebrum].

Sievekingia filifera Dressler [Colombia] -- Orquideologia, 11(3): 216 (1976 publ. 1977).

Sievekingia fimbriata photo by Darrin Norton, Mountain Orchids, Vermont. Sievekingia fimbriata photo by Darrin Norton

Sievekingia fimbriata Rchb.f. 1886 [Costa Rica; Panama, Puerto Rico] -- Flora 69 (n. s. 44): 449 (1886). Intermediate conditions; white to yellow-green flowers.

Sievekingia herklotziana R. Jenny 1986 [Colombia] -- Orchidee 37(2): 75 (1986).

Sievekingia herrenhusana Jenny 1986 [Colombia; Ecuador] -- Orchidee 37(2): 78 (1986).

Sievekingia hirtzii Waldvogel 1977 [Ecuador]

Sievekingia reichenbachiana
Photo by Patricia Harding, July 2005
Sievekingia reichenbachiana photo by Pat Harding

Sievekingia jenmani Rchb.f. [Guyana; Venezuela] -- Flora 69 (n. s. 44): 450 (1886).
Found close to the Guyana border on Cerro Wei, in SE VZ; flowers have a "very delicate membranaceous, almost transparent texture"; sepals translucent white, petals and lip yellow.

Sievekingia marsupialis Dodson 1984 [Ecuador] -- Icones Plantarum Tropicarum, 10: t. 980 (1984). Type specimen collected at Morona-Santiago, Ecuador, Near Sucua, 800 m, Stig Dalström 220, 23 Apr 1982; white & orange flowers.

Sievekingia peruviana Rolfe ex C. Schweinfurth 1943 [Peru] -- Amer. Orch. Soc. Bull. 12: 176 (1943); cf. Gray Herb. Card Cat. Pendant inflorescenses; white sepals and bright orange petals and lip.

Sievekingia reichenbachiana
Photo by Richard O. Lindberg
Sievekingia reichenbachiana photo by Richard O Lindberg, Napa Valley OS

Sievekingia reichenbachiana F. Lehmann ex Rolfe 1898 [Ecuador; Colombia] -- Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1898: 195; Hook. f. Bot. Mag. 128: pl. 7576 (1898). Yellow flowers.

Sievekingia rhonhofiae Mansfield 1938 [Ecuador] -- Orchis, 16: 19 (1938); cf. Gray Herb. Card Cat.

Sievekingia shepheardii Rolfe 1915 [Colombia; Ecuador] -- Bot. Mag. 141(ser. 4, 12): pl. 8635 (1915).

Sievekingia suavis photo by Eric Hunt, CA; plant at OrchidMania, July 2002.
Sievekingia suavis photo by Eric Hunt, 31 July 2002

Sievekingia suavis Rchb. f. 1871, [Costa Rica; Nicaragua; Panama; Colombia] -- Beitr. Syst. Pfl. 3 (1871). The type species; yellow flowers.

Sievekingia trollii Mansf., [Bolivia] -- Fedde, Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 36: 61 (1934).

Sievekingia subgen. Cirrhata Jenny -- Schlechteriana 3(2): 60. 1992. Type Name: Sievekingia colombiana Garay.

Sievekingia subgen. Cirrhosa Jenny -- Schlechteriana 2: 60. 1992. Type Name: Sievekingia reichenbachiana Lehmann ex Rolfe.

Sievekingia subgen. Lamellata Jenny -- Schlechteriana 2: 60. 1991. Type Name: Sievekingia rhonhofiae Mansfeld

AOS Awards to Sievekingia:

Links to sites about Sievekingia:

International Plant Names Index [IPNI],

Baker's Culture Sheet for Sievekingia marsupialis Dodson

Species for the Genus Sievekingia

Missouri Botanic Garden, Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador (CVPE)

Missouri Botanic Garden, Manual de la Flora de Costa Rica [S. suavis]

Peruvian Orchids by Carlos Hajek [S. peruviana]

Orchidorama photo from France [S. peruviana]

Jay Pfahl's Orchid Species Pages.

Wolfgang Renner's website [S. peruviana]

Sievekingia reichenbachiana -- photo by Jens Knapp (Germany)

Akerne Orchids: Sievekingia rhonhofiae image


P. Altmann (2000) "Houlletia, Sievekingia and Polycycnis," in: Orchid Review 108(1231): 51-54.

Gernot Bergold (1999) "Sievekingia jenmani Rchb.f.," in: Orchidee 50(5): 61-62.

Kenneth J. Curry, Lorraine M. McDowell, Walter S. Judd, & William Louis Stern (May 1991) "Osmophores, Floral Features, and Systematics of Stanhopea (Orchidaceae)," in: American Journal of Botany 78(5): 610-623. "The floral fragrance glands (osmophores) of 18 species of Stanhopea and Sievekingia were examined through a series of developmental studies at light and electron microscope levels including late bud stages through postanthesis..."
[Sievekingia; Stanhopea anfracta, annulata, candida, ecornuta, gibbosa, martiana, oculata, pulla, radiosa, ruckeri, saccata, shuttleworthii, tigrina, tricornis, vasquezii, and wardii] Link to abstract:

Calaway Dodson, and P. de Dodson (1984) Orchids of Ecuador. Fasc. 10, plates 901-1000. Icones Plantarum Tropicarum. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 33577.

Robert L. Dressler (1976) "Una Sievekingia nueva de Colombia," in: Orquideologia 11(3): 215-220.

Robert L. Dressler (1979) "Una Sievekingia llamativa de Panama," in: Orquidiologia 13(3): 221-226.

G.C.K. Dunsterville (1978) "Some Venezuelan 'Monospecific' Genera --II," in: American Orchid Society Bulletin 47(5):438-442. [S. jenmanii]

Gunther Gerlach (1999) "Sievekingia y Soterostanthus: parientes, pero diferentes. Sievekingia and Soterosanthus: related but different," in: Orquideología 21(2): 214-227.

Alex Hawkes [1965] (1987) Encyclopaedia of Cultivated Orchids. Faber and Faber, London.

Clarence Kl. Horich (1976) "Unas notas sobre Sievekingia fimbriata Rchb.f.," in: Orquideologia 11(1): 85-86.

Rudolf Jenny (1992) 'A monograph of the genus Sievekingia Rchb.f.,' in: Schlechteriana 3(2): 55-78.

N.H. Williams, William Mark Whitten, and Callaway H. Dodson (1984) 'Preliminary analyses of the floral fragrances of species of Acineta, Houlletia, Luddemannia, Lycomormium, Paphinia, and Sievekingia (Orchidaceae),' in: Selbyana 7:315-317.

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This webpage was born in November 2000.