Monographs Details: Encyclia bifida (Aubl.) Britton & P.Wilson
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - An elegant orchid, growing on shrubs, and also terrestrial, in sandy or rocky ground, occasional at low elevations, mostly near the coasts of Porto Rico, and on the small islands Mona, Vieques and Culebra; it ranges westward into Santo Domingo and Haiti, eastward, through the Virgin Islands, and has been found on St. Bart's and St. Kitt's in the Lesser Antilles. Its long-stalked clusters of large, rose or purple flowers are conspicuous.
Encyclia (Greek, wrapped around) , a genus established by the English botanist Hooker in 1828, consists of perhaps as many as 75 species of tropical and subtropical American orchids, mostly epiphytic, rarely terrestrial. They have short, little, flattened, or long pseudo-bulbs, with flat, narrow leaves, and clustered flowers at the end of a long, terminal scape. The sepals are nearly alike, the petals spatulate or narrow; the 2-lobed lip is crested, or appendaged, its middle lobe much wider than the lateral ones, and often notched; the colunn is usually attached to the lip at its base, and sometimes enclosed by it. The fruit is a ribbed capsule.
Encyclia bifida (two-cleft) has slender, oblong: pseudobulbs about 12 centimeters long, or shorter, bearing 2 or 3, stiff leaves 15 to 25 centimeters long, about 25 millimeters wide, or narrower. The flowering scape may reach a length of about 2 meters, often forked above, bearing several, dry sheaths; the often numerous, mostly light-purple flowers have slender stalks usually 2 or 3 centimeters long; the narrow sepals are about 15 millimeters long, the petals slightly narrower; the lip is from 2 to 3 centimeters long, with a deeply notched middle lobe. The oval capsule is about 2 centimeters long.
There are 3 other species of this genus in Porto Rico; of these Encyclia Krugii is also illustrated in this work.
West Indian Butterfly-orchid
Epidendrum bifidum Aublet, Histoire des Plants de la Guiane Francaise 2: 824. 1775.
Epidendrum papilionaceum Vahl; West, Bidrag til Bese[k]rivelse over St.Croix 303. 1793.
Encyclia papilionacea Schlechter, Repertorium Speciorum Novarum, Beihefte 6: 74. 1919.
Encyclia bifida Britton and Wilson, Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands 6: 532. 1930.