The dollar orchid, Prosthechea boothiana, is a miniature/small epiphyte living on small trees in warm, low-elevation tidal swamps, dry scrub forest, tropical deciduous forests, hammocks and thickets throughout its native West Indies, Mexico and in southern Florida. In Florida and the Bahamas, the pollinator is thought to be absent, since in these locations only the form Prosthechea boothiana var. erythronioides is found. This form is three-anthered and self-pollinating (autogamous) and is seldom found elsewhere in the P. boothiana range - the single-anther bearing variety is found instead.
The native Floridian P. b. erythronioides is exceedingly rare in its native habitat; the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) lists this variety as critically imperiled in Florida. The Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC) South Florida listing classifies it as imperiled, found in three counties to which it is native (Monroe (Keys), Monroe (Mainland) and Miami-Dade) and possibly extirpated in a fourth (Martin County) Like all native Floridian orchids it is illegal to collect in the wild. It is cultivated, and available from nurseries.
The Florida dollar orchid is recently a target of the “million orchid program” at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden (Miami, Florida) as one of five orchid species for copious laboratory micropropagation in an effort to re-establish the species into urban Miami area (a complement to other existing orchid reintroduction projects focused on natural areas).
(Gann et al. 2014; Lodyga 2011; Pfahl 2014; Flora of North America; Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden 2013)
- Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 2013. The million orchid project overview. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from http://www.fairchildgarden.org/The-Million-Orchid-Campaign-Overview/
- Flora of North America. FNA Vol. 26 Page 610, 614 Retrieved July 22, 2014 from http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242102288
- Gann, G.D., K.A. Bradley and S.W. Woodmansee. 2001-2014. Prosthechea boothiana (Lindl.) W.E. Higgins var. erythronioides (Small) W.E. Higgins Dollar orchid. The Institute for Region Conservation. Floristic Inventory of South Florida Database Online. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from http://www.regionalconservation.org/ircs/database/plants/PlantPage.asp?TXCODE=Prosbooteryt
- Lodyga, L. Jan 1, 2011. Get Growing with Lou Lodyga… Prostechea boothiana . South Florida Orchid Society Inc. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from http://www.sforchid.com/category/orchid-care/species/
- Pfahl, J. 2014. Internet orchid species photo encyclopedia. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from http://www.orchidspecies.com/prosboothiana.htm