Eulophia alta (L.) Fawc. & Rendle

Wild Coco

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Cyrtopera alta, Cyrtopodium woodfordii

Eulophia alta, commonly known as Wild Coco, is one of the largest and showiest terrestrial orchids native to Georgia and Florida with a broad distribution that includes the West Indies, Mexico, Central America, and Africa. This plant produces 4-6 leaves that are yellow-green in color, plicate, and lanceolate and 20-50 flowers on a tall, loose raceme. The sepals and petals vary in color from pale pink to green to a deep, rich burgundy. Each blossom is large with markings that look like a German Shepherd that has an alert expression with erect ears and panting tongue. The flowering period begins in July and may extend into January. This orchid grows in a variety of habitats, including roadside ditches, riverbanks or open, lightly wooded swamps and pastures.

Eulophia alta is apparently secure across its broad distribution.


Pollinator information for this orchid has not been reported in North America but autogamy has been reported in populations in other parts of its range.

Ecosystem Type

Floodplains, shrublands or thickets, swamps, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
  • alternate
  • basal
Number of leaves on stem:
  • one
  • two
  • three
  • four
Labellum outline:
the labellum is lobed
Main color of labellum:
  • blue to purple
  • crimson
  • green to brown
  • white
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a raceme
Labellum characteristics:
  • the labellum is lobed
  • the labellum is saccate
Labellum length:
11–17 mm
Sepal length:
Up to 23 mm
Plant height:
50–150 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