365 days of orchids – day 629 – Masdveallia pachyura

The spectacular flowers in these photographs are from one of our favourite small growing masdevallia species.

Masdevallia pachyura is a multi-flowered species found in cloud forests from 1000 to 3000m in Ecuador and Peru. As could be expected from its range it is a variable species but all have pretty little flowers and in our experience the species is straight forward in cultivation and multiplies relatively quickly.

This variety is named ‘caudas orange’ and is from the Ecuagenera nursery in Ecuador and the deep orange lip contrasts beautifully with the yellow tails on the sepals.

The species does well in pots and baskets and we keep it watered well throughout the year in Cool Americas.



365 days of orchids – day 628 – Octomeria crassifolia

This is a medium sized plant with stiff leaves and a bunch of flowers produced at the base of each leaf in Autumn. The plants are very floriferous as they flower from old and new leaves together.

Octomeria crassifolia is found in Brazil, Ecuador and Uruguay in damp montane forest and we keep plants well watered all year although they seem to enjoy very free drainage in either a basket or mounted.

The flowers only last a week or two but for that short period the effect is very pretty and the flowers deserve close inspection as the petals and sepals are gorgeous being white with deep yellow tips. The lip has a prominent red spot to aid the pollinator. The flowers are also fragrant.


Please help publicise the public days of the British orchid Show at Writhlington School – Nov 3-4th 2018

Can you help to spread the word about the British Orchid Show at Writhlington. We have just released this poster advertizing the two public days of the show – Saturday 3rd November and Sunday 4th November from 10am-4pm.


Of course you can still register for the whole weekend, preview evening, the Science Symposium or the Hardy Orchid Day at our registration page. 


365 days of orchids – day 627 – Stenoglottis fimbriata

We have two Stenoglottis species that are very similar. The first to flower is Stenoglottis fimbriata which has long spikes of pretty pink flowers which have darker spots and a lip that ends in three long filaments.

The leaves form a basal rosette and are heavily spotted in purple as is the the flower stem and the tiny leaflets up to where the flowers start.

The species comes from Eastern South Africa where it is found growing in moss and humus on rocks, banks and fallen trees in shaded forest an bush from the coast up to 1800m.

This is a habitat we have explored around Durban where forest remnants have a distinct wet season and dry season and many plants including Clivia and sundews find a niche on moss covered rocks along with orchids.

We grow the species in our Temperate section where it flowers from September to Christmas and then loses its leaves. We then give it a dryish rest until new shoots appear in late February from which time we give steadily increasing water.

We also grow the similar Stenoglottis longifolia which is a more robust plant without the attractive spotting found on the leaves of Stenoglottis fimbriata.


365 days of orchids – day 626 – Pleurothallis tuerckheimii

One of our most dramatic larger growing Pleurothallis species is this red flowered orchid from Central America.

It is a robust species that grows attractive glossy leaves before producing long dramatic spikes of deep red flowers in the autumn. It will produce fantastic specimen plants as well as flowering from small plants. We have two distinct clones – the one shown here is larger and more upright (see Ed for scale) which flowers in September and a smaller more pendulous clone that flowers in November. (Last November’s photo below)

We grow the species in baskets, pots  and mounted on bark.

The natural habitat of the species is damp forests and cloud forests from Mexico to Panama between 700m and 2400m altitude. This broad natural range supports our observation that this is an adaptable and accommodating plant to grow. We have found that the plant does best in deep shade and heat/light stress can cause leaf drop.