Tropidia polystachya (Sw.) Ames

Young Palm Orchid

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Chloidia vernalis, Polystachya membranacea

Tropidia polystachya, commonly known as the Young Palm Orchid, is distributed from the tip of Florida south through the West Indies, from Central America, Venezuela, and the Galapagos Islands. This plant produces 1-5 dark green pleated leaves and the young stems may be partially concealed by bladeless tubular sheaths. The inflorescence is densely flowered with greenish white partially open flowers arranged in a terminal panicle. The labellum is white with a bright yellow disc in the central portion. This orchid blooms in late September through October in deeply shaded, moist hardwood, limestone hammocks.

Tropidia polystachya is apparently secure based on its wide distribution in the New World tropics, however, it is extremely rare and endangered in Florida.

Ecosystem Type

Forests, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
  • two
  • three
  • four
  • five
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is 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
  • the labellum is saccate
Labellum length:
4–6 mm
Sepal length:
6–7 mm
Plant height:
10–35 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