365 days of orchids – day 337 – Masdevallia polysticta

One of December’s highlights is the flowering of this clone of Masdevallia polysticta. The species is variable in colour and we have yellow and white forms as well as this clone with purple spots and yellow tails.

Masdevallia polysticta is a smallish growing Masdevallia with broad leaves about 12cm long and 30cm flower spikes that hold the multiple flowers (about 7-10 per spike) well clear of the leaves. The flowers are long lasting and have a slight sweet fragrance.

The species is native to cool cloud forests in Ecuador and Peru from 1600 to 3000m altitude and so we keep plants damp all year. We have tried the species mounted but find for us that it does best in a small basket.



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