Ornithoboea arachnoidea

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  • Photographer: Ron Myhr
  • Grown by: Jim Roberts

Images copyright by the individual photographers or their institutions.


Oreocharis arachnoidea was introduced into cultivation only in the early 1990s, but since has been quite widely distributed.  It is notable for the extremely fimbriate calyx, which gives the appearance of a wooly spider’s web (hence the “arachnoidea”). The tiny lavender flowers have a distinctly orchid-like appearance.

This plant was awarded as “Best New Introduction” at the AGGS Convention in Baltimore in 1991. Jim Roberts, who grew this specimen, reports that the plant prefers high humidity and low light, and in those conditions the leaves are covered in fine white hairs. With lower humidity (under which this plant was grown) the hairs on the leaves are less prominent.

A close-up view of the flowers shows their similarity to the flowers of some orchids.