|Anguloa clowesii flowering at the Atlanta Botanical Garden|
Tulip Orchids are Andean in origin. Anguloa clowesii is native to Colombia and Venezuela where it grows at 1800 to 2800 m on the western slopes of the Andes. It was collected in 1842 by Jean Linden near the Nevado of Tolima, a Colombian volcano. Alvaro Arango M. writes in Orchids of Colombia, Vol. I, that in order to throw other collectors off the trail Linden reported it to be from the Sierra Nevado of Santa Marta, a coastal mountain range much farther north and not a part of the Andean mountain chain. This sort of deception was a fairly common practice among competing collectors. Linden named his discovery after one of the British financiers of his expedition, the Rev. J. C. Clowes of Manchester. Linden and his son later founded one of the most profitable 19th century orchid collecting firms.