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'Black Orchid' is the common English name by which this marvellous plant often goes. That name is for the amazing, very black markings of its flowers. Soon after Coelogyne pandurata was first described (1853), John Lindley (1799-1865) gives a glowing description in Curtis's Botanical Magazine (1858). After an enthusiastic introductory sentence he writes: 'Indeed it is rare for flowers of any genus to be so truly green as the present plant'.

This particular plant - from Southeast Asia - resides in the glass house of the huge orchid collection of the Hortus Botanicus at Leiden. The Hortus Leiden is the prime place for research into the orchids of the Southeast Asia - growing from Malaysia to the island of New Guinea. That work on about 6000 orchid species, is part of the larger project entailing more than 50,000 plants: a daunting task to say the least.

Tribe: Coelogyneae Genus: Coelogyne Lindl. 1821 Specie: Coelogyne pandurata


This specie, the "Black Orchid", inhabits the lowlands of Borneo, often forming massive clumps on tree trunks along river banks next to rainforest. It is also popular in cultivation because of its large green flowers which have an almost black, violin shaped labellum. Much sought after by hybridizers. {Photographed at Kipandi Butterfly Park, 36km from Kota Kinabalu.}


Coelogyne is a large and diverse genus of over 200 sympodial epiphytes of Asian origin and distributed from Nepal to China and Malaysa, the Philippines, Indonesia and the Fiji islands, with the main centers in Borneo, Sumatra and the Himalayas. They can be found from tropical lowland forests to montane rainforests. A few species grow as terrestrials or even as lithophytes in open, humid habitats.


The scientific name is derived from the Greek words koilos (hollow) and gyne (woman), referring to the concave stigma. This genus lacks the saccate base of the labellum, a typical characteristic which is present in the other genera in the subtribe Coelogyninae.


The free lip has high lateral lobes along the basal part of the labellum (hypochile) and smooth, toothed or warty keels. Most of this showy genus have white or green flowers with contrasting labellums displaying many brown markings in them.


The plants produce one or two leaves and often flower from pendent inflorescences produced with new growth. About half the species are in cultivation. A few are commonly called 'necklace orchids', because of their long, pendant and multi flowered inflorescence. They often have a sweet scent, attracting different kinds of pollinators, such as bees, wasps and beetles.


Coelogyne Pandurata (The Lute-shaped Coelogyne) photographed at Kipandi Butterfly Park.


#201012-12 ~Lightbox~ My wild orchids set.


***Mayaysia: Friday 31st Dec 2010 has been declared a public holiday to celebrate Malaysia’s first ever victory in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup championship.

In nature, orchids are of all imaginable and some hard-to-imagine colors. Under cultivation, orchids are bred in every color including black, like Coelogyne pandurata.

Coelogyne pandurata Lindley 1853 SECTION Verrucosae Pfitzer & Kraenzlin is a large sized, hot growing epiphyte found on large trees near rivers or terrestrial with well-spaced, strongly compressed, oblong or suborbicular, sulcate pseudobulb carrying 2, apical, plicate, elliptic-lanceolate, leaves with a stout petiole that blooms in late spring-summer out of the center of new leads with up to 15 flowers on a terminal, arched to pendant, 6 to 12" [15 to 30 cm] long, racemose inflorescence. The simulataneously opening flowers are highly fragrant of honey but are short lived. From Malaya to Borneo, this orchid needs wire basket culture as it spreads out quite rapidly and sphagnum with wood chips as media works best and the best time to repot is when the new lead emerges.


Synonyms Coelogyne peltastes var. unguiculata J.J.Sm. 1927; Pleione pandurata (Lindl.) Kuntze 1891

My Black Orchid.......

Using Canon G11 + Raynox

Location: Pontianak, West Borneo, Indonesia


Photographed by Johnny Kumala, © All Rights Reserved, please don't use this image in any purpose without my written permission, thanks

Growing in the hills above Bario, Sarawak

I gave the flowers a good sniff and they are lightly scented. I wrote some days earlier that they are not but I got me head confused with another species.

セロジネ・パンデュラタ 1401-4600 ラン科 セロジネ属 マレー半島、スマトラ、ボルネオに分布

Coelogyne pandurata


Photograph taken at the Hortus Botanicus, the botanical garden of University Leiden.

Please visit for a complete portfolio.

Coelogyne pandurata


Photograph taken at the Hortus Botanicus, the botanical garden of University Leiden.

Please visit for a complete portfolio.

Part of a large display of green orchid flowers (possibly coelogyne pandurata) at "Brief", the bungalow and garden built by the eccentric former soldier and landscape artist, Bevis Bawa, inland from Bentota in southern Sri Lanka.

Kersik Luway is a Nature Reserve in Melak district, East Kalimantan, Indonesia, famous for this rare Black Orchid (Coelogyne Pandurata)

Coelogyne x burfodiense (asperata x pandurata)

Taken at Poring Hot Springs Orchid Gardens

I gave the flowers a good sniff and they are lightly scented. I wrote some days earlier that they are not but I got me head confused with another species.

Coelogyne pandurata

I found these to be absolutely stunning. Plus they were growing real well too and covered the entire stand (a wooden "tree" display with a few branches).

Coelogyne Pandurata

Aq. Setembro 2012

Exp. J.b. RJ

1ª Floração

Growing in the hills above Bario, Sarawak

A beautiful species with "black" markings on the labellum. The contrast with the green is spectacular. Found in Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia, The Philippines and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Coelogyne pandurata Lindl., Gard. Chron. 1853: 791 (1853).

Expositora: Maria do Rosario de Almeida Braga da OrquidaRio Orquidófilos Associados.

21a. Exposição de Orquídeas de Niterói de 09 a 11 de novembro de 2012, no Instituto Abel- Centro Cultural La Salle, realizada pela ASSON-Associação Orquidófila de Niterói. 219.


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