Native to Trinidad, Colombia, Venezuela, Surinam, Guyana, French Guiana, and Brazil (Amazonas, Para)
Edited 20 August 2007
@copy Nina Rach
[see Stanhopea eburnea Lindley for additional images.]
This species was first described in 1828 as Ceratochilus grandiflorus by Conrad Loddiges, plate 1414 of the Botanical Cabinet; Consisting of Coloured Delineations of Plants from all Countries [Bot. Cab., London; image of lithograph at left].
Next, John Lindley published it in 1832 as Stanhopea eburnea in the Botanical Register [Bot. Reg.] 18, t. 1529. Recognizing that Loddiges had published first, Lindley revised it to Stanhopea grandiflora and published later in 1832 in The Genera and Species of Orchidaceous Plants, p. 158 [Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.].
Other synonyms include: Stanhopea calceolata Drap.; Stanhopea calceolus Hort. ex Reichb. f.; Ceratochilus grandiflorus Lodd.
The plants grow epiphytically, up to 60 cm tall, with clustered, ridged, ovoid pseudobulbs up to 7 cm tall, and leaves/petioles 25-55-cm long, 6-11-cm wide.
One to three flowers are borne on each short, pendent raceme, subtended by papery bracts. They are very fragrant and pearly to translucent white; the lip is finely spotted with purple, and the column is white to greenish-white. The lip is long, straight (rather than bending at the mesochile), and relatively narrow. The hypochile has a small tooth on either side, near the base; the epichile is triangular, acute, and convex; the column is up to 7.5-cm long and has broad, translucent wings. There are two waxy pollinia.
The small image above right was published in 1941 by Luis Felipe Osorio, in Orquideas Colombianas / Colombian Orchids.
This species is found in the coastal area of Venezuela, on nearby Trinidad, and across the northern coast of South America. It can bloom year round and requires warm, shaded conditions.
Photo at right shows the back of a flower blooming in Houston, August 2007. This plant originally came from coastal Venezuela.
1974/05/15 Bolivia, Stanhopea grandiflora, 3.80 pes [C328] --
One of a set of seven orchid stamps; flower is upside-down, on a rose-colored background.
1974/05/20 Bolivia, Stanhopea grandiflora and Cattleya nobilior, Souvenir Sheet, [Michel - B38] --
One of two souvenir sheets issued. This one has #C328 and #558 printed along with "Soccer Champions, Munich 1974".
1979/02/07 Suriname, Stanhopea grandiflora, 20-cent  -- One of a set of four orchid stamps.
1984/06/27 Bolivia, Stanhopea grandiflora, 10,000 bolivars 
#C328 SC and
#704a Inverted surcharge (also see this
1985/12/31 Bolivia, Stanhopea grandiflora, 10,000 bolivars [Michel - B148] -- Reissue of the upside-down 1974 stamp at 10.0 on miniature sheet depicting Rafael's 'Las Tres Gracias' (the Three Graces - partly-clad nudes).
1991/??/?? Guyana, Stanhopea grandiflora, $12.80
Stanhopea grandiflora 'Limrick' CBR/AOS (79 pts); award photo at right by Greg Allikas, from the
Orchid Photo Page.
Published in Awards Quarterly Vol. 25, p. 199, with B&W photo.
Description: Two large, ivory-white, waxy, highly frgrant flowers on one pendent raceme; epichile light green, hypochile with minute burgundy spots forming striations from basal portion, radiating centrally; flowers slightly reflexed, but flatter than most stanhopeas.
Measurements: Nat. spr. 12.3 cm, 11.5 cm vert.; ds 4.9 cm w, 9.0 cm l; pet 2.9 cm w, 6.5 cm l; ls 6.0 cm w, 8.1 cm l; lip 3.7 cm w, 6.2 cm l.
Exhibitor: Limrick, Inc., Miami, FL.
This plant was presented as Stanhopea candida and initially awarded under that name at the Tropical Orchid Society Show in West Palm Beach, Florida, 21 March 1991. It was later identified by Marv Ragan as Stanhopea grandiflora, and was entered into the printed award records under this name. However, it really appears to be Stanhopea reichenbachiana, according to Dr. Guenther Gerlach of the Munich Botanic Garden.
Stanhopea grandiflora 'La Pastora' CHM/AOS (86 pts)
Awarded at the Trinidad and Tobago Orchid Society Show, 30 October 1993, San Fernando, Trinidad.
Published in Awards Quarterly Vol. 26, p. 173 (no photo).
Description: Three flowers and four buds on three inflorescences, with seven developing inflorescenses; sepals and petals pristine white; lip waxy white with four rows of crimson dots on basal and middle parts of lip, hypochile roundish, two horns in front, mesochile solid white.
Measurements: Nat. spr. 12.0 cm, 13.0 cm vert.; ds 3.4 cm w, 8.2 cm l; pet 2.5 cm w, 7.1 cm l; ls 4.3 cm w, 8.4 cm l; lip 2.0 cm w, 6.8 cm l.
Exhibited by A.R. Gibson, Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies.
Broadway (1926) [Stanhopea grandiflora], in: Orchid Review 34: 170.
Eric A. Christenson (4 April 1997) "Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)," in: Guide to the Vascular Plants of Central French Guiana, Part 1. Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, and Monocotyledons, Memoirs 76. Bronx: The New York Botanical Garden, pp. 286-342. [Stanhopea grandiflora, p. 335 and Fig. 146, Pl. LXIIIb].
Pierre Couret (1977 - first Spanish edition) Joyas de las Orquideas Venezolanas. Caracas: Libreria Alemana Oscar Todtmann S.R.L., hardback, 104pp. [Stanhopea grandiflora, wardii]
Pierre Couret (1982 - first English edition) Jewels of the Venezuelan Orchids. Caracas: Libreria Alemana Oscar Todtmann S.R.L., hardback, 104pp. [pp. 28-31: Stanhopea grandiflora, wardii]
Calaway H. Dodson (1967) "El genero Stanhopea en Colombia," in: Orquideologia 2(4): 7-27. [Stanhopea annulata, candida, florida, grandiflora, impressa, jenishiana, oculata, ospinae, platyceras, reichenbachiana, rodigasiana, shuttleworthii, tricornis, tricornis ssp. stenochila, wardii]
The image below right depicts a 19th century lithograph published in The Botanist, plate number 176.
Galfrid C.K. Dunsterville (28 August 1987) Venezuelan Orchids. E. Armitano, Publisher, 128 p. [Stanhopea grandiflora, wardii]
"60 Venezuelan orchid species. For each one, a color photograph and a brief description."
G.C.K. Dunsterville and Leslie A. Garay (Dec. 1959) Orchids of Venezeula, Volume 1. London: Andre Deutsch Limited, p. 408. [as Stanhopea eburnea]
G.C.K. Dunsterville and Leslie A. Garay (June 1976) Orchids of Venezeula, Volume 6. London: Andre Deutsch Limited, pp. 38 [correction to Vol. 1], 418 [older syn. for S. Jenischiana].
G.C.K. Dunsterville and Leslie A. Garay (1979) Illustrated Field Guide of the Orchids of Venezuela. Three volumes, soft cover [pp. 948-952: Stanhopea candida, grandiflora, Jenischiana, oculata, Wardii].
Guenther Gerlach (1999) "80. Subtribus: Stanhopeinae und 81. Subtribus: Coeliopsidinae (Teil 1)," in: Schlechter, Die Orchideen, Band I, Teil C, Lieferung 37/38, 128 p. with 142 B&W illustrations, in German [849. Soterosanthus; 850. Brasilocycnis; 851. Polycycnis; 852. Kegeliella; 853. coryanthes; 854. Stanhopea; 855. Sievekingia; 856. Embreea; 857. Gongora; 858. Cirrhaea; 859. Paphinia; 860. Horichia; 861. Houlletia; 862. Schlimmia; 863. Trevoria; 864. Acineta; 865. Lueddemannia; 866. Lacaena; 867. Vasqueziella; 868. Braemia]
Rudolf Jenny (Jan-Feb-Mar 1993) "The Genus Stanhopea in Colombia," in: Orchid Digest 57(1): 17. [Stanhopea annulata, candida, connata, florida, grandiflora, x herrenhusana, impressa, jenischiana, oculata, ospinae, platyceras, pulla, reichenbachiana, rodigasiana, shuttleworthii, tricornis, wardii]
Linda Kraus (April 1984) "The Culture of Stanhopeas -- Confessions of a Requited Lover," in: AOS Bulletin 53(4): 358-366. [Stanhopea connata, costaricensis, eburnea, ecornuta, frymirei, grandiflora, graveolens, hernandezii, oculata, rodigasiana, saccata, wardii, S. Assidensis, S. Memoria Paul Allen]
John Lindley (1832) [as Stanhopea eburnea], in: Botanical Register [Bot. Reg.] 18, t. 1529.
John Lindley (1832) [revised to Stanhopea grandiflora], in: The Genera and Species of Orchidaceous Plants, p. 158 [Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.].
Conrad Loddiges (1828) [as Ceratochilus grandiflorus], in: Botanical Cabinet; Consisting of Coloured Delineations of Plants from all Countries [Bot. Cab., London], p. 1414.
Ray McCullough (March 1996) "Culture of Various Thin-Leafed Orchids," a Synopsis of Ray McCullough's talk at the 3/10/96 Ann Arbor OS meeting. [Houlettia tigrina; Stanhopea intermedia, graveolens, costaricensis, martiana, grandiflora, eburneum, oculata, wardii, ecornuta, connata, saccata, radiosa, tigrina]
Luis Felipe Osorio (1941) Orquideas Colombianas / Colombian Orchids. Medellin, Colombia: Felix de Bedout e hijos, 106 pp. Text in both Spanish and English. Approximately half of the leaves contain reproductions of Colombian orchids, including 10 full-page illustrations printed in colors.
G.F.J. Pabst & F. Dungs (1977) Orchidaceae Brasilienses, Vol. [Band] II. Brücke-verlag. Stanhopea grandiflora is one of seven stanhopea species indicated for Brazil. P&D list it as no. 1684, with text on pg. 179, a color illustration on pg. 220, and list of synonyms on pg. 414.
Gustavo A. Romero (1998) Venezuela, Orchid Paradise. Caracas: Armitano Editores C.A., 128p., 60 color photos, 62 B&W plates. [Stanhopea candida, grandiflora, oculata, wardii]
Gustavo A. Romero & German Carnevali (15 July 2000) Orchids of Venezuela, An Illustrated Field Guide, Second Edition. Caracas: Armitano Editores C.A. [Stanhopea candida, grandiflora, jenischiana, oculata, wardii]
Richard Evans Schultes (1960) Native Orchids of Trinidad and Tobago. International Series of Monographs on Pure and Applied Biology, Division: Botany, Volume 3. Oxford: Pergamon Press, pg. 177.
Charles Schweinfurth (April 1967) "Orchidaceae of the Guyana Highland," in: Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden 14(3):69-214. [pp. 171-175: Acineta alticola; Peristeria; Houlletia; Paphinia; Polycycnis; Stanhopea grandiflora, Randii; Gongora atropurpurea, maculata]
Norris H. Williams (1982) "The biology of orchids and euglossine bees," in: J. Arditti (ed.), Orchid Biology, Reviews and Perspectives, II, pp. 119-171. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. [Acineta; Cirrhaea; Gongora; Houlletia; Lacaena; Peristeria; Polycycnis; Schlimia; Sievekingia; Stanhopea annulata, candida, cirrhata, connata, costaricensis, ecornuta, embreei, florida, frymirei, gibbosa, grandiflora, impressa, jenishiana, oculata, reichenbachiana, saccata, tigrina, tricornis, wardii, warscewicziana]
Roger Williams (Nov. 1999) "Growing Orchids in the Southern Hemisphere," in: Orchids 68(11): 1140-1145. [Cool-house: Stanhopea anfracta, connata, tigrina; Intermediate-house: Stan. pozoi, warscewicziana; Warm-house: Stan. candida, grandiflora, napoensis, tricornis]
International Plant Names Index [IPNI],
An excellent photo of a variety of
Stanhopea grandiflora from Suriname can be found on the Akerne Orchids website.
Stanhopea culture sheets by the Bakers
Stanhopea grandiflora -
bee pollination in Trinidad
Stanhopea grandiflora -- April 1999 Plant of the Month, Trinidad and Tobago Orchid Society [photo with pollinating bee]
Orchid species from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais
- blooms in January, February, March, Apriil, December.