Cowhorn Orchid as it is known in Belize is a part of the Cyrtopodium Genus. Cyrtopodiums are a member of the
Orchidaceae Family. With just under 50 different plants the Crytopodium is a relatively small Genus in the
Almost all Orchids love warm and wet tropical climates and the Cowhorn Orchid is no exception.
Cowhorns prefer swampy and coastal areas as their primary growing habitat, thus it is no surprise that
Cowhorns are native to Southern Florida, USA, the Caribbean and the Central America
Classed as an endangered plant in the U.S. State of Florida Cowhorns were over harvested in the
1900's. However, Cowhorns are less sparse in Belize and Central America.
The roots of a Cowhorn will grow in an upright fashion. A Cowhorn's root system will form a cocoon
around the bottom of the plant to protect it from winds and keep it alive in short seasons of drought. Though
the root system of the Cowhorn is big compared to the plant’s size, which may have more then one flowering
stalk, the flowers are by no means hiding away from sight. The Cowhorn loves sun light and will tower above
its' upturned root system to a height of about 2 to 3 feet tall.
Colors for a Cowhorn will vary depending on region. Cowhorns can sometimes have spotting while other
varieties are variegated. White, yellow and purple are the most common colors for Cowhorns with some having a
combination of all three colors. One varity of Cowhorn in Belize is yellow with a purple lip, which looks
almost like a protruding tongue.
Though one, especially the ladies, may be tempted to pick a Cowhorn in the wild and wear it in their
hair it is respectfully requested that the beauty be left in its natural state for the next visitor to also
admire. Anthony Benjamin