Friday, February 25, 2011

Lepanthes caprimulgus

This incredible miniature plant is quite rare.  It comes from Ecuador and Peru and is only about 6 cm tall, but the flower is nearly 1.5 cm.  As is often the case with Lepanthes, it bears its flowers on thin, wiry spikes, in this case about 6 cm long, but curving over so that the flower is usually facing the plant.  The name of the flower refers to its fancied resemblance to the genus of birds which include the Whip-poor-wills and Goatsuckers.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Laelia sincorana

Though still a miniature, especially in comparison to most of the Cattleyas and to other of the Laelias, this is one of the larger orchids I grow, and certainly has the largest flowers of any of my orchids.  The plant is about 10 cm tall and the flowers about the same size.  The species is from Brazil and has been recently reclassified as a Cattleya.  I still think of it as a Laelia, however, and have difficulty adopting the name change.

The plant only ever produces one flower and does not bloom on every growth, but seems to bloom seasonally.  I grow it mounted under the highest light I can give it, and hold back watering a bit when the growths mature, though there are usually new growths started at the same time.  The lighter colored, flatter flower below is from another plant, slightly smaller and with a smaller flower as well.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Triotosiphon bangii

Masdevallia bangii or Triotosiphon bangii, now the correct name, is one of the smallest Masdevallias.  The plant shown is growing in a pot only 3-4 cm in diameter.  The tiny flowers are only millimeters in size and the plant only a few cm tall.  It is native to Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.  This particular plant was awarded as a Masdevallia, however, and given a Certificate of Botanical Recognition by the American Orchid Society.  It is supposed to be tolerant of a range of temperatures, but I have found it a bit finicky, dropping leaves when not happy.  I keep it cool and moist.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Alaticaulia don-quijote

Also known as Masdevallia don-quijote, this species is a real charmer, both for its name and for its unusual form. It is native to Ecuador and is named after the Man of La Mancha, for its supposed resemblance to the bowed legs of a horseman (lateral sepals) and a lance (dorsal sepal). The plant is larger, as Masdevallias go, about 15 cm tall, with 35 cm flower spikes that bloom successively, and flowers that are about 11 cm tall. It is a very vigorous grower and bloomer.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Andinia schizopogon

This strange and unusual species comes from Ecuador and Peru.  It has a rambling habit, narrow leaves and is best grown on a mount.  It produces its flowers successively on short spikes and seems to be always in bloom. The flowers are 5 cm long and the plant 8 cm tall.  It was formerly classified as a Pleurothallis but has been reclassified as part of the breaking up of that huge genus.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lepanthes elegantula

Lepanthes elegantula, a species from Ecuador, certainly lives up to its name: it is indeed most elegant.  The plant is erect and stands at 5-6 cm.  The flowers are nearly 2 cm tall, very large for a Lepanthes, and are a dark satiny purple that is very difficult to photograph.  The flowers come one or two at a time, blooming successively on wiry  flower spikes that stand well above the foliage.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mediocalcar decoratum

Mediocalcar decoratum is an unusual miniature, mat-forming species from the island of New Guinea.  It is cool growing and does well either on a mount or in a pot, but needs room to ramble.  The individual growths are about 1 cm, have a thick fleshy stem and a fan of four tiny fleshy leaves at the top.  Each new growth begins near the top of the previous growth, forming an ever-lengthening chain.  The flowers, .5 cm in size, come from the base of the growths and look like tiny candy-corns.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Masdevallia Falcon's Gold

Since this was recently in bloom, I thought I'd post a few more pictures of this easy-to-bloom and easy-to-grow plant.  This small Masdevallia is a hybrid of Masdevallia Falcon's Sunrise and Masdevallia glandulosa, a purple species whose color, very obviously, is recessive.  The flowers are large and are held well above the foliage.

Masdevallia Maui Lollipop

Maui Lollipop is a hybrid of Masdevallia mendozae and Madevallia Angel Frost.  In my opinion, though it is a charming plant, it is not as nice as either parent.  It most resembles Masdevallia mendozae, but has longer and more erect flower spikes and a paler color, with slightly more open flowers.