WSBEorchids

365 days of orchids – day 145 – Lycaste aromatica

This free flowering species is native to Mexico and Central America where it grows as an epiphyte of lithophyte in semi-deciduous forest. As its name suggests it has a sweet scent along with spicy overtones. It uses the scent to attract euglossine bees (perfume gathering bees) and in common with many plants adopting this strategy has fairly short lived flowers (a couple of weeks).

The native habitat experiences a marked dry season and so the species drops all its leaves in November and remains leafless until April or May. We reduce watering to almost none while there are no leaves but in the summer once growth is underway we water heavily to support the rapidly growing lush leaves.

It suits our temperatures in Warm Americas with a winter minimum of 15C

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