Beautiful Butterfly (Orchid)

encyclia tampensis - susan warmer copy
Late spring and early summer is when the butterfly orchids (Encyclia tampensis) bloom. Susan Warmer (Class of 2006) sent this beautiful photograph of a butterfly orchid in her yard.

Their coloration is quite variable: The petals and sepals are greenish bronze,and the center of the tri-lobed lip is whitish tinged with purple.

Like other epiphytes, butterfly orchid are most often found growing on the deeply furrowed branches of live oak (Quercus virginiana) trees as shown below at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area …
!!!!encylcia copy
This fragrant orchid, once very prolific here, is the namesake of the barrier island in Indian River County — Orchid Island.