University of Florida

Scott L. Stewart: Research

Habenaria macroceratitis Willdenow

Long-Horned Rein Orchis

The long-horned rein orchis is restricted to central Florida and known from several populations in Alachua, Sumter, Citrus, and Hernando Counties. None of these populations consists of a large number of flowering plants per year, although the Hernando County populations have up to 300 flowering and non-flowering plants. Habenaria macroceratitis prefers rich, seasonally-moist hardwood hammocks where the canopy is dominated by Pinus species, Quercus species, Liquidambar styraciflua, and Sabal palmetto. The species flowers from mid-August to October, although some sites have been known to flower as early as the early August. Research on this species is being carried out in conjunction with Florida Division of Environmental Protection, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and private land owners. Partial funding has been provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the San Diego County Orchid Society.

Habenaria macroceratitis Willdenow
Habenaria macroceratitis inflorescence (left) and flower close-up (right).
Take special note of the extremely long nectar spur evident in inflorescence image.
Images provided by M. Whitten.