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Grammatophyllum speciosum


Grammatophyllum speciosum Blume

Family Name: Orchidaceae
Common Name: Tiger Orchid, Bunga Bidadari, Ekor Gajah

Grammatophyllum speciosum is the largest orchid species in the world, with its clump weighing as heavy as two tonnes, and bearing flower stalks as long as 2 m long! The common name, Tiger Orchid is given after the striking brown and yellow flower patterns resembling tiger stripes.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Epiphyte
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 3 m


Native Distribution Southeast Asia to Papua New Guinea
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest, Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Presumed Nationally Extinct (NEx))
CITES Protection True (Appendix II)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a large, clumping, epiphytic orchid. Its stem is 3 m or longer, and up to 5 cm thick. It is also the largest orchid species in the world.
Foliage Its stalkless, two-rowed leaves have thin leaf blades that are strap-like, narrowing and curving downwards towards the sharp tips, and 31–60 by 2.5–3 cm.
Stems Stems are long and fleshy.
Flowers Its 10 cm-wide flowers are borne on an elongated shoot from the base of the stem. Both its sepals and petals are pale greenish-yellow with orange-brown spots, turning darker when older.. The floral stalk is about 2 m tall and carries about 40 long-lasting flowers.
Fruit Its pear-shaped fruits are about 15 cm long.
Habitat It grows on trees near rivers and streams.
Associated Fauna It is probably pollinated by large bees.
Cultivation This species is best grown as an epiphyte, but it can also be planted in the ground or in large containers. To grow it as an epiphyte, it can be tied to the trunk of a large tree near the crotch.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is the largest orchid species in the world with specimens growing up to 2 tonnes and bearing up to 7,000 flowers at a time! It is often grown as an ornamental orchid in gardens and parks for its attractive foliage and large flowers. It is cultivated as an epiphyte on street trees in Singapore. In Singapore, it flowers in January or July, but plants do not flower every year. It can also be cultivated in well-drained loose substrate as a terrestrial plant.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Form
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Green Roof, Flowerbed / Border

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Occasional Misting, Little Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Well-Drained Soils
Propagation Method Seed, Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Sessile
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Linear)
Foliar Venation Parallel
Foliar Margin Entire
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Brown, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Individual Flower Shape Labiate / Lipped

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Dehiscent Dry Fruit , Capsule

Image Repository



Master ID 746
Species ID 2041
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 04 October 2023.