6. Epidendrum rigidum Jacquin, Enum. Syst. Pl. 29. 1760.
Spathiger rigidus (Jacquin) Small
Plants creeping, to 40 cm. Roots from nodes along creeping rhizome, 1–2 mm diam. Stems 2 cm apart, ascending, compressed, to 20 cm. Leaves 2–7, near apex of stem; petiole 15–26 mm, compressed; blade elliptic, 3–8 × 0.8–1.5 cm, leathery, apex obtuse. Inflorescences distichous-elongate, usually erect, rarely arching, sinuous, 5–15 cm; peduncle 1–3 cm. Flowers 3–10, with underside of lip always facing rachis, not resupinate, somewhat successive, green; sepals ovate, 5 × 2.5 mm, apex acute to obtuse; petals linear, 5 × 1 mm; lip ovate to nearly quadrangular, 3 × 3 mm, apex obtuse to rounded, 2-callose; column 3 mm; clinandrium hood denticulate; anther ovoid, with low keel in front; ovary 10–11 mm, covered by prominent, conduplicate bracts often somewhat longer than ovary. Capsules ovoid; pedicel 1–2 mm; body 10–12 × 7–9 mm; beak 3–4 mm.
Flowering Sep--Dec; fruiting spring. Growing on trees in swamps [common in lowlands]; 0--30 m; Fla.; West Indies; Bermuda; South America.
Epidendrum rigidum is the most widespread and common epidendrum in the tropical regions of the Western Hemisphere. In Mexico and Central America it is replaced by a closely related species, E. cardiophorum Schlechter.