Stelis gelida (Lindl.) Pridgeon & M.W.Chase

Frosted Pleurothallis

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Humboltia gelida, Pleurothallis gelida

Stelis gelida, commonly known as the Frosted Pleurothallis, is widely distributed in tropical America including Mexico and Cuba and reaches its northern limit in Florida. This orchid has a stout stem with a solitary, large leaf and an inflorescence of pubescent, yellowish flowers that alternate along the slender raceme. The dorsal sepal is ovate and the lateral sepals are elliptic, while the petals are oblong. This plant can form large, widely-scattered colonies on a variety of trees including oak, pop ash, pond apple, and maple in cypress sloughs.

Stelis gelida is considered secure across its wide distribution in tropical America but is endangered in Florida where most populations are restricted to the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve.


This orchid is pollinated by flies in Drosophilidae and Empididae as well as some beetles such as lady bugs and chrysomelids.

Ecosystem Type



Number of leaves on stem:
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 raceme
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is lobed
Labellum length:
2–3 mm
Sepal length:
5–8 mm
Plant height:
10–50 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 Secure
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data