Restrepiella ophiocephala

Restrepiella ophiocephala

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Epidendreae
SubTribe: Pleurothallidinae
Genus: Restrepiella
Species: R. ophiocephala
Binomial name
Restrepiella ophiocephala
(Lindl.) Garay & Dunst. 1966

Restrepiella ophiocephala is an epiphytic orchid in the genus Restrepiella.


Plant blooms from winter to spring with one to four 2 cm flower. They grow from the base of the leaves, one at a time, on up to four clustered inflorescences. They have a pale yellowish-brown color, dotted with dull purple spots. The outer surface is downy. The obovate, dorsal sepal is erect, while the lateral sepals are fused (synsepals) with a small split at their apex. The elliptic petals are much shorter and with ciliated margins. The fleshy lip is tongue-shaped.It is morphologically similar to Restrepia, but differs in lacking hairlike attachments on a mobile lip and having 4 pollinia instead of two.

It grows from a short, creeping rhizome as a tufted, robust epiphyte to a length between 8 and 35 cm. The stout, cylindrical stem is erect and about 15 cm long and has a tubular bract. The fleshy, oblanceolate leaves are 8 to 18 cm long and have a short petiole.


Plants are found growing in swamp forest and in coffee plantations in Florida, USA; and from Mexico to Costa Rica at elevations of 40 to 1600 meters.


Keep plant in shade. Plant can be grown in warm to cool conditions. Pot the plant in fine bark with perlite or sphagnum moss. Water regularly and keep potting media moist.


Restrepiella ophiocephala white Restrepiella ophiocephala variant Sepals and petals are white, lip is red with a yellow edge.


Common Names: Snake's Head Restrepiella


  1. Pleurothallis ophiocephala Lindl. 1838
  2. Pleurothallis peduncularis Hook. 1841
  3. Pleurothallis puberula Klotzsch 1854
  4. Pleurothallis stigmatoglossa Rchb. f. ex Lindl. 1859
  5. Restrepia ophiocephala (Lindl.) Rchb. f. 1854
  6. Restrepiella ophiocephala f. clausa I.Bock 1996

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