What is Coelia?

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  • Written By: Sonal Panse
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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Coelia are types of plants from the family Orchidaceae. The orchids that come under this type are mostly epiphytic in nature and are native to the tropical rain forests of Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. These plants are popular in ornamental gardens, where they are generally grown on moss or bark.

The orchid Coelia bella, which is also listed as Bothriochilus bellus, comes under this genus. The plant grows at elevations of 547 to 1,640 yards (500 to 1500 meters) above sea level, and can thrive in both cool and hot climate conditions. It blooms in the spring and in the winter. The flowers of this orchid are trumpet-shaped and fragrant, and come in purple, yellow and white colors. The flowers can last for several weeks if the plant is well-watered and receives a good amount of fresh air. The plant's hairy root system needs to be watered frequently; over-watering, however, can cause the roots to rot or become susceptible to fungal diseases.

Another member, Coelia densiflora or Bothriochilus densiflorus, is a fairly large plant that grows from a pseudobulbous base and produces linear leaves at the pseudobulb apex. It is a densely flowering orchid plant, with the small and white orchid flowers appearing in spiral clusters on long spikes. A single cluster may carry around 100 to 150 flowers. The plant can tolerate both cool and warm temperatures and requires moderate amount of lighting for its growth.


Bothriochilus guatemalensis or Coelia guatemalensis, which means the Guatemalan orchid, is actually rather rare in Guatemala. This orchid species grows at heights of 1,750 to 3,281 yards (1600 to 3000 meters)and does well in cool, moist conditions. The small, white flowers have a nice fragrance.

The Coelia macrostachya or the Bothriochilus macrostachyus orchid is a very attractive plant that blooms in the spring and in the summer. The flowers are pink in color, trumpet-shaped, fragrant and grow in a cluster on a stalk. This plant does well in a cool climate.

Coelia triptera is commonly known as the Three Winged Orchid. It is found in forests at heights of 547 to 1,640 yards (500 to 1500 meters), and can grow well in varying temperature ranges. The white, fragrant flowers grow on long raceme bracts.

These orchids are prized by gardeners, and the plants can be purchased online from many orchid nurseries. Depending on the local climate, it may or may not be necessary to grow them in humid, temperature-controlled greenhouses. The orchids need to be fertilized regularly to keep them in healthy condition.


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