365 days of orchids – day 109 – Gomesa crispa

This is a Brazilian species that we found growing abundantly the forests around Macae de Cima in our expeditions in 2000 and 2005. Gomesa crispa is a pioneer species that is one of the first epiphytes to establish in regrowth forest as soon as humidity is high enough for moss to grow at the base of the trunks of young trees the plant will establish in this moss as a very low level epiphyte just 10cm off the ground. It also grows in more mature forest and in elfin forest on mountain ridges.

The flowers are a yellow/green colour but very attractively crisped (hence the name) and a healthy plant produces a very long spikes and usually two spikes from each bulb (see photo)

We used have grown this species successfully in both Cool Americas and Warm Americas but we find it does best grown in Warm Americas which is a little warmer and dryer than its natural habitat perhaps reflecting its liking for regrowth forest.

The photo here from our 2005 trip to Brazil shows the natural habitat for the species in relatively open regrowth forest with young trees.


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