Arundina graminifolia – Bamboo Orchid

Arundina graminifolia - Bamboo Orchid (white flower)

Arundina graminifolia - Bamboo Orchid (pink flower)

Arundina graminifolia - Bamboo Orchid (seed capsule with seeds)

Arundina graminifolia - Bamboo Orchid

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Arundina graminifolia

Synonyms: Arundina bambusifolia, Bletia graminifolia

Common Name: Bamboo Orchid

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized ornamental garden plant is native to tropical Asia.

Flower Color: White, Violet-pink

Height: To 5 feet (152 cm) tall

Description: The flowers have oval-shaped, white or pink tepals (petals and petal-like sepals) and a ruffled, magenta-edged labellum (lip) with a yellow center. The top sepal is narrower and smaller than the 2 side petals, and the lower 2 sepals are pressed against the labellum. The flowers age to a pink color. The flowers are followed by drooping, 6-ribbed seed capsules that split open into basket or birdcage-like structures that release the minute, dustlike seeds into the air. The leaves are green, grasslike, and alternate with linear-lanceolate blades and sheaths that wrap the reedy, upright stems. When not blooming, the plants look very much like young bamboo plants.

Bamboo Orchid grows in sunny, open, disturbed areas in wet to mesic forests, and it will colonize lava flows.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass: Liliidae
Order: Orchidales
Family: Orchidaceae – Orchid family
Genus: Arundina Blume – bamboo orchid
Species: Arundina graminifolia (D. Don) Hochr. – bamboo orchid

More About This Plant

Hawaii County Distribution Map