365 days of orchids – day 33 – Maxillaria sophronitis

Maxillaria sophronitis is a humming bird pollinated species from wet forests in Colombia and Venezuela. It is found from 750m to 1500m altitude and so we grow it in our Cool America section.

The species’ adaptation for humming bird pollination is interesting. As well as the usual red/yellow flowers to attract a humming bird it has developed a growth habit where it forms a ball but always presents its flowers on the outside of the ball to give easy access for hovering birds.

We have two very distinct clones of this species. The one in flower now is small growing with 4cm leaves and 1cm flowers where as the larger growing clone has leaves and flowers approximately double the size.

We have plants for sale at out shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/WrithlingtonOrchids



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  1. Sharon Taylor says:

    Hello. I received my Maxillaria Sophronitis today (in good condition). How long should I leave it in it’s current container? What is the age of the plant?
    Thank you

    • Simon Pugh-Jones says:

      Hi Sharon – I am glad that the plant arrived safe. It will be fine in the current pot for 12 months. You have a division from an award winning plant we divided two years ago and plants flower more than once a year but with the main flowering around Christmas. We were given the plant originally from an old collection in 1998 as a piece smaller than yours. The best time to repot is the spring as growth starts. The plant is happy to have roots out in the air and would enjoy a misting. This species is not fussy on temperature but does like to be watered heavily. Good luck.