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.