Trichocentrum undulatum (Sw.) Ackerman & M.W.Chase

Spotted Mule Eared Orchid

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Epidendrum maculatum, Lophiaris maculata, Oncidium undulatum

Trichocentrum undulatum, known as the Spotted Mule Eared Orchid, is known from Florida and is distributed in the West Indies, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Individuals consist of a shoot with one tough, leathery, folded leaf. Reproductive individuals produce a large, showy, many-flowered inflorescence with glossy brown to yellow-green flowers that are marked with brown. The plant can reach height of 1-5 m. The flowering period is April-September and plants grow on the trunks and branches of trees, usually buttonwood and mangrove in coastal forests.

Trichocentrum undulatum is endangered in Florida but is apparently secure across its broad range.


This orchid is pollinated by female Centris errans that visit the flower in search of food and leave with a pair of pollinia attached to them to deposit on the stigma of the next flower visited.

Ecosystem Type

Forests, swamps, woodlands


Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is lobed
Main color of labellum:
  • green to brown
  • pink to red
  • white
  • yellow
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a panicle
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is lobed
Labellum length:
Up to 18 mm
Sepal length:
16–17 mm
Plant height:
Up to 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