Grammatophyllum speciosum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Grammatophyllum speciosum
Grammatophyllum speciosum1.JPG
Scientific classification
G. speciosum
Binomial name
Grammatophyllum speciosum
  • Grammatophyllum fastuosum Lindl.
  • Grammatophyllum giganteum Blume ex Rchb.f.
  • Grammatophyllum macranthum (Wight) Rchb.f.
  • Pattonia macrantha Wight

Grammatophyllum speciosum, also called giant orchid, tiger orchid, sugar cane orchid or queen of the orchids, is a species of orchid native to Indonesia. It is listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's tallest orchid, with specimens recorded up to 7.62 metres (25 ft) in height.[3]


A relatively small Grammatophyllum speciousum in a tall clay Chinese orchid pot for Oncidiums.

It is an epiphytic and occasionally a lithophytic plant, forming spectacular root bundles. Its cylindric pseudobulbs can grow to a length of 2.5 m. It can grow to gigantic clusters weighing from several hundred kilograms to more than one ton.[4]

Each raceme can grow to a height of 3m, bearing up to eighty flowers, each 10 cm wide. The flowers are yellow colored with maroon or dark red spots. These flowers are remarkable, since the lowest flowers have no lip and these flowers function as osmophores for the entire inflorescence and continue to emit chemical scent to attract pollinators as flowers open in succession. It blooms only once every two to four years. This orchid can, however, remain in bloom for up to two months.

Common names[edit]


Distribution and habitat[edit]

It is native to New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines, growing in crotches of large trees on exposed areas of the lowland tropical rainforest.[9]


A giant orchid weighing two tons was one of the highlights in the 1851 exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London.

Because of its enormous size, it is rarely cultivated as this species is usually too large to be accommodated in most greenhouses. Cultivated specimens of this species are always grown as terrestrials, as the plants grow as both an epiphyte and terrestrial in habitat.[10]


  1. ^ "Grammatophyllum speciosum". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2 Oct 2016 – via The Plant List.
  2. ^ "Grammatophyllum speciosum (synonyms)". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2 Oct 2016.
  3. ^ Young, Mark C. (ed.). Guinness Book of World Records 1997. Guinness Publishing Ltd. p. 42. ISBN 0-9652383-0-X.
  4. ^ Nancy Laws (2009) Orchid Breeding at Singapore Botanic Gardens Archived 2010-12-25 at the Wayback Machine Orchid Magazine
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Grammatophyllum speciosum Blume 1825 in The Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia at
  10. ^ Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchids ISBN 0-88192-267-6