Epidendrum nocturnum Jacq.

Night Fragrant Epidendrum

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Auliza nocturna, Epidendrum bahiense, Nyctosma nocturna

Epidendrum nocturnum, the Night Fragrant Epidendrum, is the largest-flowered and most distinctive species of Epidendrum found in Florida and occurs in the West Indies, Mexico, Central America and northern South America. This orchid produces 4-10 dark green leaves that are elliptic in shape and alternate on the stem and up to 5 flowers on a short-stemmed raceme. The petals and sepals are yellowish in color with a long and slender shape and the lip is white with 3 lobes. Most flowers are self-fertilized before they open. The flowering period for this orchid is July-January but it can flower any time of the year. This orchid grows throughout the swamps and hammocks in the southern part of Florida on several varieties of trees, including cabbage palm, pop ash, and pond apple.

Epidendrum nocturnum is apparently secure across its range but is endangered in Florida.


The white flowers of this orchid are fragrant at night but often do not open. This orchid is capable of self-pollination and does not need an insect pollinator for reproduction.

Ecosystem Type



Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
  • four
  • five
  • six
  • seven or more
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is lobed
Main color of labellum:
  • white
  • yellow
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence has one flower or a pair of flowers
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is lobed
Labellum length:
Up to 40 mm
Sepal length:
Up to 60 mm
Plant height:
Up to 110 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