Grammatophyllum speciosum (Tiger Orchid)

Scientific Name

Grammatophyllum speciosum Blume

Common Names

Tiger Orchid, Giant Orchid, Sugar Cane Orchid, Queen of the Orchids


Grammatophyllum fastuosum, Grammatophyllum giganteum, Grammatophyllum macranthum, Pattonia macrantha

Scientific Classification

Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Cymbidieae
Subtribe: Cymbidiinae
Genus: Grammatophyllum


Color: Yellow with maroon or dark red spots
Bloom Time: Only once every 2 to 4 years


Grammatophyllum speciosum is an epiphytic and occasionally a lithophytic plant, forming spectacular root bundles. Its cylindrical pseudobulbs can grow up to 8.2 feet (2.5 m) long. Each raceme can grow up to 10 feet (3 m), bearing up to eighty flowers, each up to 4 inches (10 cm) wide. The flowers are yellow colored with maroon or dark red spots. These flowers are remarkable since the lowest flowers have no lip, and these flowers function as osmophores for the entire inflorescence and continue to emit a chemical scent to attract pollinators as flowers open in succession. It blooms only once every 2 to 4 years. This orchid can, however, remains in bloom for up to two months. It is listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's tallest orchid, with specimens recorded up to 25 feet (7.6 m) in height.

Grammatophyllum speciosum - Tiger Orchid
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How to Grow and Care

Grammatophyllums grow well in moderate light intensity. Morning sun is best, until about noon. Observation of the leaf structure can be your best guide to the correct light conditions for which a type is particularly suited. Lime green-colored foliage is an indication of proper light. Dark green foliage, while very attractive, is not conducive to the plant reaching its full blooming potential. Yellow-colored foliage indicates too much light. In very mild climates, most members of this can be grown out of doors, with protection from the hot summer sun, and the colder nights of winter.

The ideal annual temperature range for most members of the genus Grammatophyllum are 75 to 85 °F (24 to 30 °C) during the day and 55 to 60 °F (13 to 16 °C) at night. Plants will tolerate temperatures to 45 °F (10 °C) and up to 100 °F (38 °C) for short periods. At higher temperatures, air circulation and humidity must be increased, or damage can occur. See more at How to Grow and Care for Grammatophyllum.


Native to New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, growing in crotches of large trees on exposed areas of the lowland tropical rainforest.


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