365 days of orchids – day 305 – Barbosella cogniauxiana

This is our third barbosella species and this is intermediate in size between B. australis and B.dusenii (days 230 and 245). We have several plants of this species that all come from a flask of seedlings from Equatorial Plants purchased in 2001 after our first visit to Brazil with the Rio Atlantic Forest Trust.

We were fortunate to see this species clothing the lower branches of tall trees in primary forest at around 1200m altitude (actually fallen branches from the tall trees because a tiny orchid is quite hard to spot in the tops of tall trees)

The species is slow to spread and the ball shown here has a diameter of 15cm but is still on the mount it was attached to in 2001 (sixteen years ago). Each November it produces a fantastic display as it flowers from older sections of growth as well as the last years growth.

The colour of the flowers is variable with some more yellow like this one and others more brown or green. The flowers are very similar to Barbosella australis (day 230) but this species always flowers later in the year and the growth habit is tighter and smaller. We have successfully split one large plant and so will have some of these for sale at next year’s shows.

We only grow this species mounted as we find it is out competed by moss when in pots. Another view of the plant is shown below.


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