365 days of orchids – day 355 – Odontoglossum cristatum (Oncidium cristatum)

This species is vigorous and free flowering and in Autumn and Spring produces long arching spikes of large flowers in glossy brown, red and white.

Odontoglossum cristatum is native to Ecuador and Colombia where it is found in cloud forest from 1500-2600 m altitude and so it is very well suited to growing in our Cool Americas section. I have always known this plant as Odontoglossum cristatum but odontoglossum species have been included in Oncidium on the basis of molecular studies.

Our plants go back to a seedling purchased in 1996 and since then we have grown the species in pots, mounted and in baskets. We find that the species particularly enjoys a basket where it produces masses of roots and can grow into a specimen. The plant photographed has twelve spikes in total and will be looking amazing by about the end of January. Other plants will flower in March and so we get four to five months of these fantastic flowers.

We keep plants watered all year as they are always in growth.


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