Eulophia graminea

Chinese crown orchid

Nonnative to FloridaFISC Category 2 Invasive

Species Overview

Native to: tropical and subtropical Asia

The Chinese crown orchid is a terrestrial orchid that was first discovered in Florida in 2007 growing in mulched landscape in south Miami. 

Species Characteristics

Family: Orchidaceae

Habit: a ground orchid that grows from a pseudobulb, a maturity a long shoot with a raceme of small flowers can reach up to several feet tall.

Leaves: short narrow strap-like leaves

Flowers: small (about the size of a pencil eraser) with green, pink, and white petals

Seeds: develops seed pods with tiny dust-like seeds 

Distribution in Florida: South Florida

Impacts

The Chinese crown orchid forms a dense monoculture and has rapidly spread to thirteen counties in Florida. Although believed to have originally been spread by mulch, it is now found in rockland hammock and pine rockland habitats in the Florida Keys, and maritime hammock, pine flatwood, coastal strand, and cypress strand on the mainland. It has been found growing in rock, sand, mulch and bare earth and spreads via both pseudobulbs and minute dust-like seeds.

This plant currently has a caution rating from the UF IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas.

Control Methods

Preventive Measures

It is likely that Chinese crown orchid will continue to spread throughout Florida and research suggests it could invade at least as far as Georgia and Alabama due to its hardy nature.  Prevention measures include not moving mulch from infested areas and decontaminating clothes, shoes, gear, and equipment worn/used in infested areas to remove any hitchhiking seed.

Cultural/Physical

Hand removal, best done before it flowers and develops seeds pods.

Mechanical

Additional research needed.

Biological

No known biological controls

Chemical

Additional research needed.

Learn more about this species

Atlas of Florida Plants

UF IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas

View the herbarium images from the University of Florida Herbarium Digital Imaging Projects

Florida State Horticultural Society publication: An Exotic Orchid, Eulophia graminea, Invades Charlotte County