Terrestrial, to 1.3 m tall; pseudobulbs ovoid, 4-12 cm long, 4-8 cm wide, enveloped at base by foliaceous bracts. Leaves 3-5 from apex of pseudobulb, deciduous; blades 30-100 cm long, 6-14 cm wide, plicate. Racemes solitary from base of pseudobulb, 80-130 cm tall, erect, few-flowered; flowers subglobose, fleshy, white, fragrant, opening 2-4 at a time from the base first; pedicels to 4 cm long; sepals subequal, 2.5-3 cm long, 2-3 cm wide, the laterals connate at base; petals 2-2.5 cm long, 1.5-2 cm wide; lip with lateral wings spotted red, articulated at base with the broad claw, thickened at base, with an apical crest; column ca 1 cm long. Fruits ellipsoid, 4-5.5 cm long, to 2 cm wide. Shattuck 854. A plant of open areas, probably eliminated by succession. Flowers in the rainy season. Fruits in the dry season. The national flower of the Republic of Panama, the species is highly favored by orchid growers, but has disappeared in some areas. Pollinated by the bee Euplusia concava and also visited by Euglossa sp. (Dressler,1968a). Costa Rica to Colombia and Venezuela. In Panama, known from premontane moist forest and tropical moist forest in Panama and from premontane wet forest at low to medium elevations in Colón, Coclé and Panama.