Cranichis muscosa Sw.

Moss Loving Cranichis

Facts About

Accepted Synonym: Cranichis bradei

Cranichis muscosa, the Moss Loving Cranichis, is distributed in the West Indies, Central America, and northern South America and north to Florida. The 4-5 leaves grow in a basal rosette and the stem is loosely sheathed by several fluted bracts that get smaller toward the summit. The flowers are non-resupinate and have white sepals and petals. The labellum is white with green flecks. This orchid flowers in January and February, and grows in mossy sinkholes, cypress knees, and rich hammocks. C. mucosa had not been seen in Florida for almost 100 years until several plants were rediscovered in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.

Cranichis mucosa is apparently secure given its broad distribution. However this orchid is extremely rare in Florida and considered endangered.


This orchid is suspected to be self-pollinating based on a pollinator exclusion study that showed nearly all flowers formed fruits.

Ecosystem Type

Floodplains, shrublands or thickets, swamps, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
  • four
  • five
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is simple
Main color of labellum:
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a spike
Labellum characteristics:
  • the labellum is saccate
  • the labellum is simple
Labellum length:
3–4 mm
Sepal length:
3–4 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