Epidendrum and Encyclia are now often synonymized. This group of plants vary from truly epiphytic to occassionally terrestrial. They may be very small to quite large, either with or without rhizomes (underground roots which travel and produce new plants). Species with somewhat large onionlike pseudobulbs were once included in Epidendrum . Most of these species are now placed in the genus Encyclia.. Those species with slender, simple or branched stems, with leaves at intervals throughout their entire length, were left in the genus Epidendrum .
Care for both genera is the same. Their culture is much like that of Cattleyas.
When European explorers were first learning about orchids, they created a genus of "Epidendrum orchids" that included all epiphytic orchids — those that grow on trees. The Epidendrum genus still contains over 1000 species, but now has a much clearer taxonomic definition, with its species now sharing a common ancestry sometime in the distant past. (They are no longer all epiphytic.) Epidendrum falls within subtribe Laeliinae, which makes them relatives of the better-known Cattleya orchid genus. They are often hybridized with other members of the Cattleya alliance.
Epidendrums are a genus of the orchid family that consists of large and small plant varieties. Native to tropical America, the plants develop reed-like stems and 1-inch flowers. Epidendrum orchids can withstand a summer maximum temperature of about 85 degrees Fahrenheit and a minimum temperature around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Epidendrum hardiness is zone-dependent -- many varieties are suited to Sunset Climate Zones H1 and H2, while others work well in the milder areas of zones 7, 17 and 21 through 24. Epidendrums don't tolerate extended exposure to frost. Grow them in pots, and move them inside when the temperature drops.
Epidendrum orchid plants are among the most common and the most unusual forms of the flowers. This group of orchids encompasses over 1,000 varieties of sub-tropical to tropical plants. That means most of them are not suited for long-term outdoor growing. Instead, they thrive in a greenhouse or even the home interior.
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