Stanhopea connata

Klotzsch 1854

Native to the eastern Andes of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru

Edited 9 May 2007
© Nina Rach

Stanhopea connata photo by Pedro Glucksmann

Stanhopea connata Klotzsch 1854

Originally published by Friedrich Klotzsch in Otto & Dietr. Allg. Gartenz. xxii. (1854) 226. Type specimen described from Peru.

This is one of the easiest stanhopeas to identify because of its distinctive form and color. Note the short, fat horns arising from the mesochile, the bulbous hypochile and especially note the fusion of the base of the column to the hypochile. Gerlach (1999) describes this: "Hypochil teilweise mit der Saulenbasis verwachsen." Another distinctive feature is that the petals have more/heavier markings than the sepals.

The scent is reminiscent of narcissus.

Pollinated by the Eulaema especiosa bee (van der Pijl & Dodson, 1966).

A synonym for this species is Stanhopea tadeasi J.R. Haager & J. Jenik 1984, named for Tadeus P. Haager, son of one of the authors. The plants were collected in Ecuador near the summit of Cerro Sumaco at approx. 1700 m; they "grew without marked preference to host tree species, mostly between 4 and 6 m height above ground" (Haager & Jenik 1984). The authors also noted that the flowers "are oppressively smelling of indole and/or scatole, possibly also of other substances of the indole group, similar to S. napoensis Dodson.

Photos at left and below provided by Pedro Glucksmann of Caracas, Venezuela, of a plant blooming in April 2002.


Stanhopea connata photo by Pedro Glucksmann Stanhopea connata photo by Pedro Glucksmann Stanhopea connata photo by Pedro Glucksmann






Stanhopea connata, Ian Chalmers' plant from Ecuador

The orange flowers illustrated at left are from an Ecuadorian plant in the collection of Ian Chalmers in Australia.

Note from Ian Chalmers about flowering Stanhopea connata:
"I have just flowered Stanhopea connata in winter. The flower colour appears to be conditional on temperature. In the Summer it flowered a burnt orange and in winter it was yellow. The same plant. Previously I had read that there were two colour forms. I now believe that this is not correct and the temperature determines the colour."

Two Notes from David P. Banks []:
"I believe that the Ecuadorian Stanhopea species submitted by Ian Chalmers to be within the range of Stanhopea connata. It certainly is a darker colour than many of the clones I have seen, even though we know they also darken with age. S. connata is from Peru, Ecuador and Colombia - and has a very thick labellum and "chunky horns".

"I have spoken to Ian Chalmers about his Stanhopea connata... which flowered pale in winter, darker in summer. The darker bloom in summer could be a result of: (1.) Increased daylight hours "hitting" the developing bud (longer daylength); or (2.) Higher UV intensity in summer; or (3.) a combination of both. I have noticed a similar thing with many of the bright coloured Dendrobium species from Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, such as D. cuthbertsonii, D. lawesii and D. jacobsonii."

AOS Awards:
Stanhopea connata 'Ximenez' AM/AOS 82pts
February 10, 1994
"Three well-spaced flowers on one pendulous inflorescence; flowers of unusual intense color for species; sepals orange-yellow, broad, rounded at ends, reflexed and with only minor rolling at edges; petals orange-yellow, spotted, maroon, more heavily basally; lip hypochile bulbous, maroon with yellow spots basally, mesochile and epichile short, orange-yellow; substance heavy; texture lustrous; fragrance strong, spicy; unusual for this species is that there are more than two flowers on the inflorescence, although up to four are known, but extremely rare. Natural spread 6.9cm horizontally, 9.7cm vertically; ds 3.4cm w, 6.1cm l; petal 5.3cm w, 6.1cm l; ls 3.2cm w, 4.0cm l; lip 4.0cm w, 3.5cm l."
Awarded at the Orchid Society of Quito Show, Quito, Ecuador
Exhibited by Mario Portillo, Cuenca, Ecuador; published in the Awards Quarterly, v. --.

Stanhopea connata 'Fieldwood' AM/AOS 82 pts
October 1976
Awarded in Atlanta
Published in the Awards Quarterly v. 8, p. 138, with B&W photo.

Stanhopea connata 'Orange Jewel' AM/AOS 81 pts
September 1966
"Three flowers on stem; brilliant clear orange-yellow sepals; petals orange-yellow dotted with maroon; hypochil [ibid.] blotched maroon at base and striped with dots; column creamy white; extremely heavy substance. Natural spread of flower 3-7/8"; ds 1-5/8" wide, 2-1/4" long; petals 1-3/8" wide, 1-7/8" long; ls 1-7/8" wide, 2-1/2" long; lip 1-1/2" wide, 1-3/8" long."
Awarded in Oklahoma City.
Exhibited by Rod McClellan Co., South San Francisco, CA; published in the Register of Awards, Supplement 6, p. 979.

Printed References:

Rodrigo R. Escobar [ed.] (1992) Native Colombian Orchids, Volume 4: Porroglossum-Zygosepalum. Medellin: Compania Litografica Nacional S.A., pp. 456-616. [pp. 546-553: Stanhopea platyceras, S. reichenbachiana, S. impressa, S. oculata, S. connata, S. candida, S. avicula, S. shuttleworthii, S. wardii, S. panamensis, S. pulla]

Gunther Gerlach (Nov. 1999) "80. Subtribus: Stanhopinae; 854. Stanhopea; Sektion Connata" in: Die Orchideen, Rudolf Schlechter, Band I/C, 37./38. Lieferung, Parey Buchverlag, Berlin, p. 2362 [German text and photo].

Gunther Gerlach and Calaway Dodson (1999) as above; a key to the genus and description of the proposed sections [in German].

Barney Greer (Sept. 1998) The Astonishing Stanhopeas (the upside-down orchids). Sydney: Australian Orchid Foundation. 92 full-color pages, including 55 known species and five natural hybrids.

J.R. Haager and J. Jenik (1984) "Stanhopea tadeasi Haager & Jenik, sp. nov.... A New Orchid From the Ecuadorian Andes," in: Orchid Digest 48(5): 182-186 [line-drawing, text, six photos].

Index Kewensis

Rudolf Jenny (Jan-Feb-Mar 1993) "The Genus Stanhopea in Colombia," in: Orchid Digest 57(1): 17. [Stanhopea annulata, S. candida, S. connata, S. florida, S. grandiflora, S. x herrenhusana, S. impressa, S. jenischiana, S. oculata, S. ospinae, S. platyceras, S. pulla, S. reichenbachiana, S. rodigasiana, S. shuttleworthii, S. tricornis, S. wardii]

Rudolf Jenny (Dec. 1993) "The Genus Stanhopea," in: AOS Bull. 62(12): 1271-1277; includes the very useful 'Preliminary List of Stanhopea Species'. [photos of: Stan. shuttleworthii, S. hernandezii, S. jenischiana x S. connata, S. ecornuta, S. deltoidea, S. connata, S. candida, S. tricornis; Embreea rodigasiana; Stan. Mem. Paul Allen]

Rudolf Jenny (Dec. 2003) "The Genus Stanhopea. Part 1: S. anfracta to S. napoensis," in: Caesiana no. 21, Supplement. 200 color photos, 160 p., Italian/English, covers 32 species.

Myron Kimnach (Sept. 1978) "The Cultivation of Stanhopea and Its Allies," in: AOS Bull. 47(9): 784-794. [Stan. bucephalus, S. costaricensis, S. connata, S. eburnea, S. frymirei, S. gibbosa, S. graveolens, S. infracta, S. inodora, S. insignis, S. oculata, S. rodigasiana, S. tigrina, S. wardii]

Friedrich Klotzsch (1854) Allgemeine Gartenzeitung, 22: 226. [type specimen of S. connata from Peru; original publication]

Linda Kraus (April 1984) "The Culture of Stanhopeas -- Confessions of a Requited Lover," in: AOS Bull. 53(4): 358-366. [Stan. connata, S. costaricensis, S. eburnea, S. ecornuta, S. frymirei, S. grandiflora, S. graveolens, S. hernandezii, S. oculata, S. rodigasiana, S. saccata, S. wardii; S. Assidensis, S. Memoria Paul Allen]

Pedro Ortiz V., Alfonso Martinez M., and Guillermo Misas U. (1982) Orquidea Ornamentales de Colombia (Ornamental Orchids of Colombia), Bogota: Carlos Valencia Editores. [Stan. connata (Pl. 224.), platyceras, reichenbachiana, rodigasiana, shuttleworthii, wardii]

L. van der Pijl and C.H. Dodson (1966) Orchid flowers: Their pollination and evolution. Coral Gables, FL: Univ. Miami Press.

Henry Teuscher (Oct. 1973) "Collector's Item: Stanhopea connata Klotzsch (1854)," in: AOS Bull. 42(10): 896-899.

Roger Williams (Nov. 1999) "Growing Orchids in the Southern Hemisphere," in: Orchids 68(11): 1140-1145.

Web References:

International Plant Names Index [IPNI],

Orquideas Colombianas y sus Polinizadores (Colombian Orchids and their Pollinators [Stanhopea connata = Eulaema especiosa]

Ray McCullough " Culture of Various Thin-Leafed Orchids," a Synopsis of Ray McCullough's talk at the 3/10/96 Ann Arbor OS meeting. [Houlettia tigrina; Stanhopea intermedia, S. graveolens, S. costaricensis, S. martiana, S. grandiflora, S. eburneum, S. oculata, S. wardii, S. ecornuta, S. connata, S. saccata, S. radiosa, S. tigrina]

Image © Dennis de Silva at Easy Orchids (Australia)

Stanhopea connata fotoŠ Isaias Rolando, from "Peruvian Orchid Species" gallery at the Club Peruana de Orquideas (Peruvian Orchid Club) website

Stanhopea connata 'Orange Jewel' AM/AOS, photo at Tropical Orchid Farm.

Photo by Jay Pfahl at Bergstrom Orchids.

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