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Florida Dancing Lady Tolumnia bahamensis

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Oncidium bahamense
  • Oncidium variegatum subsp. bahamense
  • Tolumnia adamsii
Description

Florida Dancing Lady is a semi-epiphytic evergreen orchid native to a small area of coastal scrub in southeastern Florida and the Bahamas. The plant grows on wild rosemary or palmetto scrub and consists of 408 leaves that are connected by a rhizome. In the spring it produces an inflorescence that consists of up to 50 flowers that are quite striking. They are pollinated by the Centris errans bee that mistakes it for another insect and attacks it, getting pollen on it in the process. 

The name Dancing Lady comes from the flower shape.The lower petals resemble a flared skirt and are white with brownish spots while the bumpy yellow callus resembles the bodice of the dress. The plant is listed as endangered in Florida due to loss of habitat and poaching.

The plant needs partial to dappled shade and very good drainage.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#epiphytic#spring flowers#dappled shade#specialized bees#thickets#orchid#partial shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#epiphytic#spring flowers#dappled shade#specialized bees#thickets#orchid#partial shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Tolumnia
    Species:
    bahamensis
    Family:
    Orchidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Florida, Bahamas
    Distribution:
    FL
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers are pollinated by Centris errans bees.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Epiphyte
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    1/2 inch flowers in April and May. Up to 50 flowers per raceme. Lower petals are flared (the skirt) and are white with brownish spots. The bumpy yellow callus is the "bodice".
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are simple, alternate, have serrated margins with 4-8 leathery leaves in a fan shape. They are lanceolate with acute tips.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Attracts:
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Humidity