The Wild Banana Orchid
The woods provide shelter for several varieties of flowering plants, including orchids. Probably the best known of Cayman's 26 species of orchids is the wild banana orchid, of which there are two varieties: Schomburgkia thomsoniana var. thomsoniana, which originated on Grand Cayman, and Schomburgkia thomsoniana var. minor, which came from Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
Both varieties have scented flowers with purple lips, although the petals are predominantly white on the Grand Cayman variety, while the Sister Islands' has slightly smaller flowers, with pale yellow petals. The flowers appear at the top of a long curved spike at the bottom of which cluster banana-like pseudo-bulbs that give this orchid its name.
Last Updated: 2005-10-21