As might be expected, the large outcroppings of volcanic rocks along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica are good places to find crabs, limpets, and other shoreline creatures, but amazingly, these outcroppings are also good places to find orchids.
I found the large clump of Lady of the Night Orchids (Brassavola nodosa) below growing on the outcropping of wave-splashed volcanic rocks in the above photo.
These white-flowered orchids are common in Costa Rica at low elevations along the Pacific coast, and they grow either as an epiphyte (on another living plant like a tree or palm) or as a lithophyte (on a rock) such as these.
Lady of the Night Orchids have showy white and pale green flowers that become delightfully fragrant at night. Their green leaves are long, narrow, and fleshy.
Orchid flowers have their petals and sepals (the usually green outer parts of the flower) in groups of threes.
With Lady of the Night Orchids, the three petals are the large, white central lipped petal and the two green, horizontal petals. The topmost upright "petal" and the bottom two "petals" are actually the three green sepals.