"The plicate leaves may reach a meter in length and superficially resemble those of Bletia patula and Eulophia alta. Pink flowers and distinctly slender, trilobed lip separates it from the formers mentioned. S. plicata produces numerous flowers over a long period, but only a few are open at the same time. They self-pollinate and fruit production is prolific."
If you have been with ACAMPA Nature Anventure in the half day tour you may have seen this orchid after the "Mud Trail".
"The epithet, hystricina, is derived from the Greek word for porcupine and refers to the small fruits, densely covered with soft prickles" (picture below, right).
What distinguish this orchid from all others in Puerto Rico is the tufts of slender stems covered by overlaping and prickly-looking leaves. There are two other species of Dichaea on the Island: D. latifolia Lindley and D. pendula (Aublet) Cogniaux.
"Single flowers emerge primarily in the late summer. Self-pollinaton likely occurs because nearly all flowers develop fruits and the known pollinators of dichaeas, male euglossine bees, do not exist in Puerto Rico."
The best way to encounter this species is on giant clums of introduced baboo along the road that leads to the El Yunque Rain Forest.
"The species also occurs in Cuba, the Lesser Antilles, Venezuela, Colombia and Central America."