Plants of Forest

Wild Orchid Island: Amami Oshima

80 species of wild orchids have been found on Amami Oshima to date. The combination of a high-temperature and high humidity climate and the complex mountainous terrain creates a perfect home for wild orchids in Amami Oshima. Amami Oshima is home to Japan’s only distribution of Liparis elliptica, Diploprora championii, Amami thrixspermum japonicum, Bulbophyllum affine, Bulbophyllum macraei (Lindl.) Reichb.fil. and many other types of epiphytic orchids adorn treetops and boulders with their unusual and mysterious blooms. The forest floor reveals Calanthe amamiana, Calanthe triplicata, Calanthe lyroglossa  and other Calanthe orchids as well as Pristiglottis rubricentra that produces gorgeous blooms and scores of other terrestrial orchids like the Acanthephippium sylhetense with its distinctly shaped bloom. More than 10 species of leafless saprophytic orchids like Eulophia zollingeri and Erythrorchis altissima (Blume) Blume grow in the diverse world of wild orchids coloring Amami Oshima.

Diploprora championii (©Hiroshi Yamashita)
Epiphytic orchid that hangs down from the tops of boulders and from branches in the evergreen broad-leaved forest. Amami Oshima is the only place in Japan where it grows wild. Flowering season: July

Calanthe amamiana (©Hiroshi Yamashita)
Orchid native to the forest floor in south-central Amami Oshima. Flowering season: March

Phalaenopsis japonica (©Futoshi Hamada)

Bulbophyllum macraei (©Futoshi Hamada)

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