Skip to main content
You are here
Facebook icon
Pinterest icon
Twitter icon

Bulbophyllum nocturnum

Bulbophyllum nocturnum was recently discovered on the island of New Britain (part of Papua New Guinea) and is the first known orchid with flowers that consistently open at night and close during the day.
Bulbophyllum nocturnum flower

Bulbophyllum nocturnum flower (Photo: André Schuiteman)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Bulbophyllum nocturnum J.J.Verm., de Vogel, Schuit. & A.Vogel

Conservation status: 

Data deficient (DD) according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Habitat: 

Epiphytic in rainforests between 240 and 300 m above sea level.

Key Uses: 

None.

Known hazards: 

None known.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Lilianae
Order: 
Asparagales
Family: 
Orchidaceae
Genus: Bulbophyllum

About this species

With some 25,000 known species, orchids (Orchidaceae) make up the largest plant family. Their flowers show a tremendous range of variation in size, colour and shape. Some last for months, whereas others are open for only a few hours. Until the discovery of Bulbophyllum nocturnum, no truly night-flowering orchid species was known, that is to say, one that consistently opens its flowers after dark and closes them during the day.

Genus: 
Bulbophyllum

main info

Courses at Kew

Kew offers a variety of specialist training courses in horticulture, conservation and plant science.

Students learn about plant taxonomy and identification

Why People Need Plants

A compelling book from Kew Publishing that explores the crucial role that plants play in the everyday lives of all of us.

image of book cover