Bulbophyllum pachyrachis (A.Rich.) Griseb.

Rat Tail Orchid

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Pachyrhachis pineliana, Pleurothallis pachyrachis

Bulbophyllum pachyrachis, commonly known as the Rat Tail Orchid, is distributed in the West Indies, Central America, and South America and south Florida. This orchid has short, sessile pseudobulbs that are attached to a creeping rhizome. One or two glossy leaves develop at the apex of the pseudobulb, and the inflorescence, a simple raceme, emerges from the base of the pseudobulb. The inflorescence has up to 30 small greenish-brown flowers spotted with purple and the labellum is red. This orchid was known to occur on hardwood hammocks in the Fakahatchee Swamp but has not been seen in Florida since 1975 and is presumed extirpated.

Bulbophyllum pachyrachis is apparently secure across its somewhat large range although this orchid is considered endangered in Florida, and the single known population in Florida no longer exits.

Ecosystem Type

Swamps, woodlands


Number of leaves on stem:
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is simple
Main color of labellum:
pink to red
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a spike
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is simple
Labellum length:
2–3 mm
Sepal length:
Up to 7 mm
Show All Characteristics

Native to North America


North American Conservation Status & Distribution

Conservation Status

Select a location to view conservation status:

Conservation and Wetland Status
Global Rank Apparently Secure
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data