From - Plant Encyclopedia and Gardening wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Coryanthes (Greek, korys, helmet, and anthos, flower, referring to the shape of the lip). Orchidaceae. Epiphytic orchids requiring warmhouse conditions.

Pseudbulbous : lvs. plicate, lanceolate: fls. in racemes: sepals spreading, dilated, flexuose, conduplicate, lateral ones largest, distinct at the base; petals small, erect; lip large, tridentate, basal portion forming a hood, continued into the column; distal portion bucket- or pouch-like; column pointing downward, elongated, terete, bicornute at the base, apex recurved; pollinia 2, compressed, caudicle linear, arcuate. The bucket part of the lip is provided with a spout-like structure, by means of which the bucket overflows when about half full of a secretion which drops from a pair of glands near the base of the column. The fls. of the species known are not lasting, the sepals being of such delicate texture that although at first they fully expand, they soon collapse and become unsightly. Although mud interest attaches to the species of Coryanthes, the genus is not generally cult., since the fls. last too short a time and are not particularly brilliant. This complex 'genus, which is closely related to Stanhopea, is represented by several interesting species inhabiting Trop. Amer. For cult, see Stanhopea.

C. Batfouriana, Hort. Similar in habit to a Stanhopea. with a long pendulous scape bearing 2 or 3 large and curiously shaped fly Peru. —C. leucocorys, Rolfe. Sepals yellowish green, marked with brownish purple, the petals white, marked with light purple, the lip white with the bucket marbled with light rosy purple. Peru. Lind. 7:293. — C. Mastersiana, Lehm. Raceme erect; fls. 2 or 3, yellowish, tinged and spotted with copper-red. Colombia, G.C. III. 29:19. — C. Saderi, Hort. A very large-fld. plant allied to C. macrantha. — C. speciosa. Hook. Raceme of 2 or 3 fls.; sepals and petals pale yellow; lip brown-red, the stalk brownish yellow. Brazil. G.C. III. 38:106. B.M. 2755 (as Gongora). C.O. 2. George V. Nash.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

Orchid genus Coryanthes
The "Bucket Orchids"
Fossil range: {{{fossil_range}}}
Coryanthes verrucolineata
Coryanthes verrucolineata
Plant Info
Common name(s): {{{common_names}}}
Growth habit: {{{growth_habit}}}
Height: {{{high}}}
Width: {{{wide}}}
Lifespan: {{{lifespan}}}
Exposure: {{{exposure}}}
Water: {{{water}}}
Features: {{{features}}}
Poisonous: {{{poisonous}}}
Hardiness: {{{hardiness}}}
USDA Zones: {{{usda_zones}}}
Sunset Zones: {{{sunset_zones}}}
Scientific classification
Domain: {{{domain}}}
Superkingdom: {{{superregnum}}}
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: {{{subregnum}}}
Superdivision: {{{superdivisio}}}
Superphylum: {{{superphylum}}}
Division: Magnoliophyta
Phylum: {{{phylum}}}
Subdivision: {{{subdivisio}}}
Subphylum: {{{subphylum}}}
Infraphylum: {{{infraphylum}}}
Microphylum: {{{microphylum}}}
Nanophylum: {{{nanophylum}}}
Superclass: {{{superclassis}}}
Class: Liliopsida
Sublass: {{{subclassis}}}
Infraclass: {{{infraclassis}}}
Superorder: {{{superordo}}}
Order: Asparagales
Suborder: {{{subordo}}}
Infraorder: {{{infraordo}}}
Superfamily: {{{superfamilia}}}
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Supertribe: {{{supertribus}}}
Tribe: Maxillarieae
Subtribe: Stanhopeinae
Genus: Coryanthes
Subgenus: {{{subgenus}}}
Section: {{{sectio}}}
Series: {{{series}}}
Species: {{{species}}}
Subspecies: {{{subspecies}}}
Binomial name
Trinomial name
Type Species
see text...

The term "Bucket orchid" can refer to any of the species in the genus Coryanthes, which are tropical epiphytic plants in the Orchidaceae family. Bucket orchids are an excellent example of coevolution and mutualism, as the orchids have evolved along with orchid bees (the tribe Euglossini of the family Apidae) and both depend on each other for reproduction. One to three flowers are borne on a pendant stem that comes from the base of the pseudobulbs. The flower secretes a fluid (see Coryanthes alborosea picture) into the flower lip, which is shaped like a bucket. The male orchid bees (not the females) are attracted to the flower by a strong scent from aromatic oils, which they store in specialized spongy pouches inside their swollen hind legs, as they appear to use the scent in their courtship dances in order to attract females. The bees, trying to get the waxy substance containing the scent, sometimes fall to the fluid-filled bucket. As they are trying to escape, they find that there are some small knobs on which they can climb on, while the rest of the lip is lined with smooth, downward-pointing hairs, upon which their claws cannot find a grip. The knobs lead to a spout (see the Coryanthes leucocorys picture), but as the bee is trying to escape, the spout constricts. At that same moment, the small packets containing the pollen of the orchid get pressed against the thorax of the bee. However, the glue on the pollen packets does not set immediately, so the orchid keeps the bee trapped until the glue has set. Once the glue has set, the bee is let free and he can now dry his wings and fly off. His ordeal may have taken as long as forty-five minutes. Hopefully, the bee will go to another flower, where, if the flower is to be successful at reproducing, the bee falls once again into the bucket of the same species. This time the pollen packets get stuck to the stigma as the bee is escaping, and after a while the orchid will produce a seed pod.

The bee, having stored the aromatic oils in his back legs, can then fly off to mate with a female bee.



Some of the first investigations on Coryanthes were published by Cruger in 1865.[1] Charles Darwin describes his observations and experiments on some species of Coryanthes in his book The Various Contrivances by which Orchids are Fertilized by Insects.[2] However, Darwin thought it was the female bees that were doing the fertilizing, and it was almost 100 years before the role of the male euglossine bees were revealed in 1961.[3]


  • [[Coryanthes exi


Intergeneric hybrids

  • Coryhopea (Coryanthes × Stanhopea)



  1. H. Cruger (1865) A few notes on the fecundation of orchids and their morphology. J. Linn.Soc.London–Bot.8:127–35
  2. Charles Darwin, D. Appleton (1877) The Various Contrivances by which Orchids are Fertilized by Insects.
  3. Dodson, C. H. and G.P. Frymire (1961) Natural pollination of orchids. Mo. Bot. Gard. Bull. 49(9):133-152

External links

Template:Commonscat Template:Commons

blog comments powered by Disqus
Personal tools
Bookmark and Share