365 days of orchids – day 51 – Masdevallia pandurilabia

This cute Masdevallia from Peru is named after the lute shaped lip (its actually rather small so a teeny weeny lute) The thing we like more is the dramatic spotting and the flowers crossed legs (tails) which give it an unusually relaxed look.

Masdevallia pandurilabia comes from really cool high altitude cloud forest above 2600m altitude and loves it cool and moist with good air movement. Some species from similar habitats are a challenge in a greenhouse but this species seems to be a vigorous grower and as you can see from the photo on the left produces lovely glossy leaves too. We grow this species in baskets of bark and moss and give it a minimum of 10C.

It is reported as growing as a terrestrial in leaf litter as well as an epiphyte which may explain the unusually long flower stem for a flower of this size.


South West Orchid Show – Feb 25th – A chance to vote live for this weeks orchid of the week

Next Saturday our plants will be displayed at the South West Orchid Show (25th Feb) at the village hall, Monkton Heathfield Nr Taunton TA2 8NE 10:30 am – 4:00 pm.

This is always the first Society show we attend each year. We won’t have a sales table this year, just a display, but for fans of 365 days of orchids it will be a chance to see all of this weeks orchids close up before voting. Why not come along.


365 days of orchids – day 50 – Cochlioda noezliana

Yes, we have arrived at day 50 of our 365 days of orchid species in flower at the Writhlington School Orchid Project. Time to celebrate so here is Cochlioda noezliana a startling scarlet species from the cloud forests of Colombia that has been a major influence on orchid breeding since its discovery and the orchid species behind the red in many of the red orchids sold around the world.

the colour is there to attract humming birds and represents parallel evolution to that of Cattleya coccinea (day 20) The other lovely pollination feature here is the two yellow beak guides on the lip to help the pollinating bird find the nectar.

This species has a reputation as not the easiest to grow but we find it straight forward if you stick to the cool moist conditions of its cloud forest home (our cool Americas section)