Brazilian colour to beat the winter gloom

Sophronitis cernua
Sophronitis cernua

One of the real pleasures of having a greenhouse is escaping those cold gloomy winter days into your own little tropical paradise. This morning I escaped to Brazil thanks to Sophronitis cernua. I had the pleasure of seeing this species in the wild on our last school expedition to the Brazilian costal forest (Mata Atlantica) in 2006. It grows in dryish forest at around 800m altitude and so we grow it with a minimum temperature of 15 degrees Celcius. As you can see from the plant photograph we grow it mounted rather than in a pot. About nine years ago we tied a seedling to a piece of cork and as you can see the plant has grown to completely cover the mount. This year it is flowering really well. This species is pollinated by humming birds.


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