Peristeria elata

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Peristeria elata
Peristeria elata Orchi 11.jpg
Flower of Peristeria elata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Cymbidieae
Subtribe: Coeliopsidinae
Genus: Peristeria
Species: P. elata
Binomial name
Peristeria elata

Peristeria elata is a species of orchid occurring from Central America to Ecuador and Venezuela. It is the type species of its genus. It is commonly referred to as the Holy Ghost orchid, dove orchid or flower of the Holy Spirit in English, and, as the flor del Espiritu Santo in Spanish.


It has ovoid pseudobulbs up to 12 cm high, elongated, not fat and with four leaves that reach up to one meter of length and 15 cm of width, folded. Flowers emerge from the base of the bulb and produce 4 to 12 flowers with an intense marble white color and purple spots. The anther and pistil are yellow. The central part of the flower has a well-defined dove shape. Its perfume is similar to beer. It blooms between the July and October months.


The epiphyte is found in Central and north-western South America; it ranges from Costa Rica to Peru.[1]


In Panama this species has been abundant in the very humid mountain forests. It is found as an epiphyte plant on the trunks of trees covered with moss at elevation of about 1,100 m. In its natural habitat, this orchid grows near the ground level of mature forests.

State of conservation[edit]

This flower is in grave danger of extinction; because of its beauty, traffickers take it away from its habitat. The Panamanian NGO APROVACA runs a sponsorship program for this orchid to save it from extinction.[2] It is included on the list of endangered plants according to the Washington Treaty on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.[3]

National Flower of Panama[edit]

Since 1936, this orchid is the national flower of the Republic of Panama declared in the Flower Festival.[4][5]


  1. ^ Meisel, Joe E.; Kaufmann, Ronald S.; Pupulin, Franco (6 November 2014). Orchids of Tropical America: An Introduction and Guide. Cornell University Press. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-8014-5492-9. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ República de Panamá. [1].
  5. ^
  • Dr. Karlheinz Senghas - Maxillaria, un genre chaotique - Richardiana
  • Eric A. Christenson - Vue d’ensemble du genre Maxillaria - Richardiana

External links[edit]