Oeceoclades maculata

African spotted orchid

Oeceoclades maculata 

Oeceoclades maculata is an orchid belonging to the family Ochidaceae in the sub family Epidendroideae

Distribution and habitat

Family:                 Orchidaceae

Subfamily:            Epidendroideae

Tribe:                   Cymbidieae

Subtribe:              Eulophiinae

Synonyms            Oeceoclades mackenii


In South Africa:        KwaZulu-Natal

Oeceoclades maculata is widespread across the tropics of Africa and South and Central America, however it is rare in southern Africa.

A globally very widespread species, however in South Africa it is very rare, known from only a few records, but not suspected to be threatened. It may also be overlooked as plants are well camouflaged among shaded forest leaf litter.

Oeceoclades maculata also known as the monk orchid, is a terrestrial orchid species that is native to tropical Africa, the sub-tropical east coastal region of South Africa and Madagascar. Oeceoclades maculata is considered to be one of the most successful invasive orchids which has naturalized in South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Florida in North America. It was first described by the English botanist John Lindley as Angraecum maculatum in 1821 based on a specimen collected from South America. Lindley later revised his original placement and moved the species to the genus Oeceoclades in 1833.


Oeceoclades maculata grows in leaf litter amongst rocks in the shade of riverine forest and woodland. It produces a very short rhizomatous stem that is covered with secondary stems that are expanded to form below ground, rounded pseudobulbs up to 6 cm in length.  From the top of the pseudobulb flattened a single linear leaf emerge that is up to 40 cm in length.

blotched and speckled leaves of eceoclades maculata is an orchid belonging to the family Ochidaceae in the sub family Epidendroideae


In their natural habitat they experience summer day temperatures of 27 -32 degrees C, and night time temperatures which average around 21 degrees C, with a winter minimum night time temperatures as low as 10 degrees C and daytime temperatures around 25 degrees C.


75-80% in summer dropping as low as 50% in winter.

Culture Watering and feeding

Oeceoclades maculata which are easy to grow require shady conditions and filtered or diffused light. Good air movement should be provided at all times.

I ensure that the roots remain moist throughout the year increasing the amount of watering during the period of active growth, however I am careful not to over water them or allow the growing medium to become waterlogged. To prevent waterlogging and to increase gas exchange in the root zone it is advisable to have spacers under the pots to allow for free drainage and for air to enter the pots from below.
I feed frequently at very low concentrations usually one quarter or less than the recommended application rate with a variety of feeds, being EasyGro™ Flower and Fruit 3:1:6(46) hydroponic feed distributed by  Rolfes Agri, Seagro, Nitrosol, fulvic acid as well as with both black as well as rooibos tea.

inflorescense of blotched and speckled leaves of eceoclades maculata is an orchid belonging to the family Ochidaceae in the sub family Epidendroideae

Periodically I flush out the pots with clean tap water to remove any buildup of salts or other harmful substances of decay in the growing medium.



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Designed, Developed & Maintained by Michael Hickman
This page was  created on  29.01.23
This page was last updated on 29.01.23