Costa Rica Nicoya Peninsula

The Travel Guide to the Peninsula de Nicoya, Costa Rica, with detailed Maps, Hotels and Tourist Information


Costa Rica Orchids

Dry Forest Orchid Species in Costa Rica, Nicoya Peninsula

Orchids in Costa Rica
Pseudobulbs of the Easter Orchid

The small country of Costa Rica roughly counts around 1400 orchid species. While you find a profusion of orchids in the mountainous, wetter areas of the country, the seasonally dry, deciduous forests on the Nicoya Peninsula presents less and a lower diversity of orchid species. The dry season lasts from Jan - May and without any rains and scorching heat the plants survive through water stored in pseudo bulbs and fleshy corms and leaves.

Most epiphytes thrive in the higher canopy where they cling to the fissured bark of cenizaro, espavel, cedro and ceiba trees. Please never tear off an orchid from a tree. Instead look for fallen trees or branches during rainy season. These homeless orchids you can take with a clear conscience.

Click on a picture to flip through the orchid slide show

Brassavola Nodosa
"Lady of the Night"
Very common, also on beaches. Narrow succulent leaves.
Flowers ca 3 cm diam. Their nocturnal scent attracts hawkmoths who act as pollinators
Encyclia Cordigera
"Easter Orchid"
Very common. Large onion-shaped pseudo bulbs, long slender leaves
Flowers ca 2 cm diam, around Easter lasting around 3 weeks
Sobralia decora
"Beautiful Sobralia"
Pretty common in Costa Rica and Central America.
Large pink flowers ca 6 cm diam, but they don't even last a full day
Corianthes maculata
"Bucket orchid"
Very rare. Leaves lanceolate, 30-60 cm long. Grows high in the canopy, preferably on ants nests
Flowers ca 10 cm diam, lasting 2 days
Cycnoches warscewiczii
"Swan Orchid"
A rare orchid. Long, oval-shaped pseudo-bulbs
Flower up to 7 cm. Their delicious fragrance attracts bees
Oncidium Cebolleta
Commonly found. Fleshy leaves are very long and slender
Flowers ca 2 cm diam, lasting around 2 weeks
Epidendrum Stamfordianum
Common. Broad oval fleshy leaves, onion-shaped pseudo bulbs
Flowers ca 1.5 cm diam, lasting around 3 weeks
which kind exactly I don't know yet
Flowers ca 1 cm diam, lasting around 3 weeks
Epidendrum Barbeyanum
Common. Fleshy oval leaves
Flowers ca 2 cm diam, lasting 3 days
Epidendrum congestoides
Common. Clustered, succulent, oblong leaves
Don't have a picture of flower yet
Trigonidium egertonianum
More rare. Ellipsoid pseudobulbs, slender long leaves
Flowers ca 1 cm diam, lasting 1 day
Heterotaxis sessilis
More rare. Leaves oblong, fleshy lancettes
Flowers ca 1 cm diam, close to stem, lasting 3 days
Laelia rubescens
More rare. Ovoid, wrinkled pseudobulbs. Oblong, ovate leaves
Flowers ca 3 cm diam, lasting 4 days

Text and Pictures by Pia Pfau