Friday, September 17, 2010

Acronia canidentis

Previously known as Pleurothallis canidentis, this small plant has the heart-shaped leaves characteristic of the group, and the flowers, like the other Acronias, are carried on short stems, so that the flower lies on the upper surface of the leaf.

This species is one of the smaller Acronias, and is native to Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia.  The leaves with their stems are about 15 cm tall and the flowers are 2 cm tall.  It is cool growing and does well either in a pot or mounted.

The species name, canidentis, means "dog's tooth," and refers to the shape of the petals, though the resemblance entirely escapes me.  This, then, is the Dog's Tooth Pleurothallis, or the Dog's Tooth Acronia, but by any name a worthwhile plant.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dendrobium violaceum

Here is another Dendrobium from the wonderful Oxyglossum section and from New Guinea, the home of most of the species in that section.  The Oxyglossum Dendrobiums are notable for their small size and their colorful and long-lived flowers.  It is not uncommon that the flowers of these plants last for six months.

This species can be quite large, up to 35 cm, but my plant is only about 20 cm.  The flowers which are a little less than 3 cm tall, can vary widely in color, from pink to deep violet, and are very long lasting.  The plants do best in cool temperatures, high humidity and high light.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lepanthes escobariana

Lepanthes escobariana belongs to the group of Central and South American orchids referred to as pleurothallids. It comes from Colombia and is named for a Colombian orchid grower, Rodrigo Escobar.  It is one of the more desirable Lepanthes species because of the large size of its flowers in relation to the plant.

The flowers are about 2 cm tall and are carried on long, successively-flowered spikes that arise from single-leaved growths about 3-4 cm tall.  The intricate flowers are nearly transparent and beautifully and brightly colored like most Lepanthes.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Zootrophion endresianum

This interesting orchid species was purchased as Zootrophion gracilentum, but I am pretty certain that is not that species. The description of Zootrophion endresianum fits this species better.

The plant is about 20 cm tall and freely produces its strange and interesting flowers during the summer. The flowers are about 3 cm in size and only open little "windows" in the sides of the flower, through which the pollinating insect must crawl.

The name Zootrophion refers to the cage-like shape of the flowers with their little "windows." The name endresianum refers to a German orchid collector of the 19th century.  The species is from Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador and Colombia and tolerates a wide range of temperatures. It is considered by some to be synonymous with Zootrophion hypodiscus.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Alaticaulia impostor

This unusual Masdevallia, now reclassifed as Alaticaulia, comes from Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. The plant is about 15 cm tall and the large flowers are carried on 40 cm long flower spikes. The flowers are 6-8 cm in size and each spike blooms successively. The name impostor means "deceiver," a reference to the fact that the species was misidentified for many years.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Promenaea stapelioides

This orchid species is from Brazil and gets its species name from its resemblance to the flowers of the succulent, Stapelia.  It is a miniature, growing only about 10 cm tall with a pendant inflorescence carrying single, or occasionally double, 3 cm flowers.

The plant is cool-growing and the flowers are fragrant.  It grows well for me under lights with Masdevallias, other Pleurothallids, and New Guinea Dendrobiums.  It is usually readily available to hobbyists and highly recommended for those who love miniature orchids.