Microthelys rubrocallosa (B.L.Rob. & Greenm.) Garay

Green Medusa Orchid

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Schiedeella rubrocalosa, Spiranthes porphyricola, Spiranthes rubrocallosa

Microthelys rubrocallosa, the Green Medusa Orchid, was believed to be restricted to Mexico until a small population was discovered in the Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico in 2004. This small orchid has blue-green basal leaves and a slender leafless spike bearing up to 30 green, white-tipped tubular flowers. The sepal and petals form a hood around the column and the two bright orange calluses distinguish this orchid from others found in the Sacramento Mountains. This orchid has been observed in a mesic, mixed conifer forest that is subject to occasional fires.

The global conservation status for Microthelys rubrocallosa has not been determined because its abundance in Mexico is not well documented. The single population in New Mexico is considered imperiled due to the small number of plants. Additional information is needed to evaluate the impacts of fire and logging on this orchid.


Pollinator information for this orchid has not been reported but some plants and populations are autogamous with the pollinia in direct contact with the rim of the stigma.

Ecosystem Type

Forests, mountain summits and plateaus


Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
  • one
  • two
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is simple
Main color of labellum:
green to brown
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a spike
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is simple
Labellum length:
4–4.5 mm
Plant height:
17–36 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 N/A
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data