Epidendrum, abbreviated Epi in the horticultural trade, is a large neotropical genus of the orchid family. With more than 1,500 species, some authors describe it as a mega-genus. The genus name refers to its epiphytic growth habit.
Epidendrum orchid plants are among the most common and the most unusual forms of the flowers. This group of orchids encompasses over 1,000 varieties of sub-tropical to tropical plants. That means most of them are not suited for long-term outdoor growing. Instead, they thrive in a greenhouse or even the home interior. The majority of these plants are epiphytic and live suspended from a tree or cliff with minimal soil. A few are terrestrial but they also thrive on low nutrient media. The forms of Epidendrums vary widely. Some produce pseudobulbs while others have cane-like stems. The color and shape of the flower petals depend upon the cultivar, but most of the group has a characteristic three-lobed lip at the bottom of the flower that closes in on the center.