Habenaria medusa was described in 1893 by
Kränzlin in Botanische Jahrbücher fur Systematik,
Pflanzengeschichte und Pflantzengeographie, based on a plant in Blume’s herbarium (Leydener Herbarium).
According to JB Comber, the species occurs in
Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi and Borneo(Comber 1990, 2001).
In Sumatra, it is found in the southeast of the island (Lampung Region, Kali Simpang Lunik in Bengkulu, about 600m).
H. medusa has a seasonal growth cycle. In its
natural habitat, it grows rapidly and flowers in the hot, humid monsoon.
After six to seven months the flowering stem dies and the plant enters a resting period of five to six months.
Food reserves are stored in the tuber. In cultivation, it is vital to respect this cycle, or the plant will flower badly and die.
This species grows well in intermediate - warm conditions.
The flowers are 4-5cm across and the plant grows to about 25-35cm.