Rhynchostylis retusa

Source: Shadia Naser

Rhynchostylis retusa

The genus Rhynchostylis or foxtail orchids is part of the family Orchidaceae, sub-family Epidendroideae, tribe Vandeae, sub-tribe Aeridinae.

They are characterized by long, pendulous inflorescences and spice scented flowers.

Rhynchostylis is part of the Vandeae but differs by the monocot lip. And in contrast to the Vandas, it prefers indirect light.

They are best grown in a hanging basket with little or no substrate.

It contains only 3 species.

In cultivation the abbreviation Rhy is used.


Rhynchostylis a monopodial genus with leathery leaves that bear clusters of spicy scented flowers. The lip is fixed and joined together at the bottom of the column with the basal portion to form a spur. The lateral compressed spur is pointing backwards. The lip has no side lobes, or calli, the mouth is often hairy inside, the apical part is completely or slightly 3-lobed, more or less elongated and hollow. The short column is widened at the base with the foot either indistinct or absent; the rostellum is long and pointed. The 2 pollina are spherical, toothed, have long slender stipes that widen towards the top and an oblong viscidium.


Rhynchostylis: from the Greek rhynchos (beak) and stylos (column)


South India to the Philippines


Lowland forests and savannah woodlands, from 0-1,200 meters