Peristeria is a highly famous orchid. Flowers of this stunning orchid resemble a dove, hence comes its common name, the Dove Orchid.
This orchid is also frequently referred to as the Holy Spirit Orchid, or the Holy Ghost Orchid.
Nicknamed “The Flower of the Holy Spirit”, this orchid looks like praying monks before blooming, and then opens into a flower that in many cases looks remarkably like a dove.
It can not be denied that that these beautiful orchids look very peaceful and elegant. It is the national flower of Panama, however, it dwells not only in Panama but in other countries of Central America.
Peristeria dwell in rainforests, in high humidity as an air plant, growing in moss-grown tree trunks, near the ground level.
This “flower of the holy spirit” can be found growing around the edge of the hardwood forests. They are often seen growing during the fall which is the time when the trees of the hardwood forests shed their leaves.
In its natural habitat, these orchids grows only in the months of August and September. Due to its unique form and beauty, these orchids have become really endangered in nature, near extinction.
The type species, Peristeria elata, has white flowers, famous for its unique column shape, resembling the dove’s head. The flower is fragrant and its central part resembles the dove’s body.
However, the smell coming out of these flowers is not sweet or sacred at all. In fact, it is said to resemble the smell of beer!
This Flower of the Holy Spirit is a large-sized orchid with big, round pseudobulbs. A mature plant could have pseudobulbs the size of a child’s head. It typically has three to five leaves per pseudobulb. The flowers are long-lasting, and successively opened are about two inches wide.
Growing this orchid is not that difficult as it can grow in warm weather conditions. It does, though, require sufficient light all year round to produce blooms. The plant usually requires only moderate watering.
To encourage growth when a new pseudobulb is growing, heavy watering may be needed for a period of time. When the plant slows down its rate of growth, you should reduce both the watering and the addition of fertilizers as this may ruin the health of the plant.
Lower night temperatures should encourage flower blooming to start.
Dove Orchids require open and well drained pots containing a growing medium of sphagnum moss, cocoa chips, and tree fern.
Remember to give the plant lots of water, bright sunlight, and warm temperatures if you want it to bloom in a healthy manner.