Cyrtopodium flavum (Nees) Link & Otto ex Rchb.

Yellow Cowhorn Orchid

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Cyrtopodium polyphyllum, Cyrtopodium paranaense, Epidendrum polyphyllum

Cyrtopodium flavum, the Yellow Cowhorn Orchid, is native to Brazil and has become naturalized in Florida. It is a terrestrial orchid while the other species in Florida (Cyrtopodium punctatum) is an epiphyte. This spectacular orchid produces 10-12 plicate, leathery leaves and an inflorescence with 30-50 bright yellow flowers on an erect panicle that is up to 75 cm long. Pseudobulbs are up to 60 cm in length. Cyrtopodium flavum blooms in April to June in vacant lots and pine dominated sites.

Cyrtopodium flavum is globally secure and has been naturalized in southeastern Florida.


Cyrtopodium flavum is pollinated by oil collecting bees from the genus Centris. Oil collecting bees provision their brood cells with a mixture of edible oils that they collect from unusual oil and pollen reward flowers, such as those found in the family Malpighiaceae.
This is a naturalized orchid, and is most likely pollinated by a naturalized population of Centris bees, not the native Centris which pollinate Cyrtopodium punctatum, a Florida native orchid.

Ecosystem Type

Disturbed habitats, grassland, meadows, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
  • six
  • seven or more
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is lobed
Main color of labellum:
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a panicle
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is lobed
Labellum length:
15 mm
Sepal length:
Up to 15 mm
Plant height:
Up to 60 cm
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