Warning: Table './orchidso_orchidsOnlineDrupal/cache_page' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_page WHERE cid = 'http://www.orchidsonline.com.au/node/8967' in /home/orchidso/public_html/includes/database.mysqli.inc on line 134

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/orchidso/public_html/includes/database.mysqli.inc:134) in /home/orchidso/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 736

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/orchidso/public_html/includes/database.mysqli.inc:134) in /home/orchidso/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 737

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/orchidso/public_html/includes/database.mysqli.inc:134) in /home/orchidso/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 738

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/orchidso/public_html/includes/database.mysqli.inc:134) in /home/orchidso/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 739
Luisia sp. | Orchids Online
Skip navigation.

Luisia sp.

Luisia sp.

Looks very like L. primulina other than the darker green in the lip when I compare it to other photos I can find on the web.

Updated with pics from this years flowering. One spike with two flowers earlier, followed now by a second spike with four. It may not have a name, but it has to be one of my favourite plants anyway!

Luisia sp.

Vote Result

Score: 9.0, Votes: 3

hybridization experiment

My "feeling" on your plant is, that it has been reared in a bottle. It certainly has not been collected from nature because the first roots have attached themselves to the original one inch clay pot. These little pots indicate large scale production. If your plant comes out of a bottle it can be a hybridization experiment. L. primulina with a few 1.5 cm flowers is not a showy plant for the mass market.

The plant on the link below could be another hybridization experiment. But I shall cherish this plant because my now dead wife "found it" and gave it to me.


The leaves of your plant look dessicated. In nature Luisias can be found growing in full sun and in full shade, mostly amongst the leaves of trees. They seem to thrive from the evaporation of the leaves.

Dessicated Leaves

Your observation of the root attachment to the original pot is correct. As for the dessicated leaves, in my very short experience of growing plants in Thailand I have already moved towards more open mixes. I am using more clay shards and have just sourced a large bag of pumice stone that I think I will use more of. This is a reaction to having lost a few plants to root rot when planted in the usual coconut husk based mix people seem to use here. I cannot control the rain in the wet, but I can control the watering in the dry season. The plant has always had a bit of that dried look, but seems to be happy. It currently holds it's second spike this 'season' with double the number of flowers held on the previous two spikes.

Bruce Polky

Luisia hybrid?

Hi Bruce,

I looked at your photos previously and was going to wait for some more reasearch before commenting.

There is something about the plant habit that reminds me of some of the "semi-terete" Vanda hybrids that have Vanda Josephine van Brero in the background. The leaves also don't seem to be a typical of Luisia, i.e. they are not what I would consider truly terete (circular in cross-section).

Could this be a Luisia crossed with with one of the mixed Vanda hybrids that I've just mentioned. I say "mixed" because V. Josephine van Brero is registered as V. insignis x V. teres (= Papilionanthe teres), van Brero, 1936.

There doesn't seem to have been much Luisia hybridising happening, but perhaps you may know of some nursery sources that have had such hybrids available. They may have some suggestons for a possible name.



Leaf Cross Section

The plant was purchased in a Thai plant market (Songkran market in Phuket), and the only thing you can be sure about in those markets is that nothing is sure.

The leaf cross section is very close to round, if 'oval' in any way they tend to be wider vertically than horizontally. The mature leaves also show very little sign of a join or seam in the top edge. The size of the plant is very compact at less than 20 cm on its third flowering, and I think this would be unlikely if there was a strong Papilionanthe influence. It also has the very short inflorescence and 'nodding' flower presentation that seems to be a Luisia trait.

On the other hand, The flowers are large compared to many Luisia species at 3cm across the sepals and 1.5 cm accross the lip. Also this latest flowering has 4 flowers on a single spike, which is a lot compared to a lot of Luisia species.

So all things are possible, except maybe putting a definitive name on the plant. As I have said many times on here though, it do not expect plants to fit exactly into the nomenclature, and it doesn't need to have a name for me to enjoy it!

Bruce Polky

Luisia ID

I think that it is Luisia macrotis. Your flower is similar to the one shown by Nantiya Vaddhanaphuti in "A Field Guide to the Wild Orchids of Thailand".

Also have a look on "Preliminary checklist of the Orchidaceae of Laos".


Excellent images.

Luisia ID

I don't think it can be L. macrotis because it is listed as having flowers up to 1cm where this one is 2.5cm. I must get into the habit of putting the flower size in the original post. There is also the possibility that the darker grreen in the lip was because the flowers were getting old. The first of the two flowers dropped two days after I took those images. The best match I found on the web that lead me to suggest L. primulia are at.


Looking at that more closely though, the flower size is noted there at 1.6cm.

Have a look and see what you think.

As for the "excellent images", I actually build software for photographers (school/event photography and retail) and I HATE cameras. The images were taken with the only camera I own, a $200 digital point and shoot, and were taken in a standard "automatic" mode, I take lots and pick the best one then crop a bit using my software if necessary. I think it demonstrates just how good the basic little cameras are these days. I certainly do not have any skills as a photographer.

Bruce Polky

I have never seen L. macrotis

I have never seen L. macrotis neither L. primulina in the hand. According to Nantiya Vaddhanaphuti, the size of L. macrotis is 1 cm wide and 2 cm long; L. primulina is 1.5 cm and she adds that the mesochile of the lip has four longitudinal green stripes.

L. primulina has an extended central part of the lip (see orchidfoto file 5/9). This extended "central part" is not visible in your image.

It is the use of the light which makes a good image. For identification purpose, a good image shows the important details but you have to know what to show from a description.

After living for twenty plus years without a camera I have bought a digital one for seven thousand Baht. My major problem is correct focusing, particularly in the forest. I try to make a sharp, under exposed and well composed photo with the camera. With an image editor (GIMP) I crop, correct the white balance and stretch the contrast.

Still unidentified

I think based on what we know then, this is not L. primulina as I guessed, and not L. macrotis either. Unless someone else can come up with some other option, it will stay as Luisia unknown. I would rather not call it Luisia sp, because there is always the chance that it is a hybrid, natural or otherwise.

As for digital cameras and software, I build software mainly for workflow, but all the capabilities to modify the image are included. Maybe not quite photoshop, but all the basics are in there. The problem when it comes to photography of plants for identification is the temptation to modify the image to 'improve' it, and along the way end up with an unrealistic representation of the plant. Look at any sales catalogue for that! While colour is important, when it comes to identification, detail is more important.

Bruce Polky