Golden rain orchid
Oncidium cheirophorum

This small-flowered dwarf orchid is found in Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia. It has fragrant, bright yellow flowers. Oncidium cheirophorum is often found in dense clumps in the tops of tall trees, or on the ends of spreading branches. This dwarf orchid is an epiphyte – a plant that grows non-parasitically upon another plant.

The fragrant, bright yellow flowers of golden rain orchid are only 1–1.5 cm in diameter and the plants are often found in dense clumps in the tops of tall trees or on the ends of spreading branches, giving it its common name. It reaches about 12–15 cm in height.

Golden rain orchid is in the Orchidaceae family, one of the most species-rich plant families with approximately 25,000 species in roughly 850 genera, accounting for 8–10% of all flowering plants.

They are distributed worldwide but are most diverse and numerous in the tropics and subtropics; elsewhere, they are also diverse in Mediterranean climatic zones (e.g. southern Africa and Australia). The orchid floras of many countries are poorly known with between 200–500 new species being described every year.

Despite a wide diversity, the spectacular flowers of the orchid family have an unmistakeable resemblance, and all are bilaterally symmetrical - meaning the left-hand side is a mirror image of the right.

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