365 days of orchids – day 364 – Pleurothallis sp. baeza
This very attractive Pleurothallis is a bit of a mystery. It was donated to us with the name baeza by our friends at www.konservatory.co.uk, which is a town in Ecuador but not a recognised orchid species. We therefore assume that the species is native to the cloud forests around Baeza but any help on a positive identification would be appreciated.
The plant is robust with 20cm stems and thick 15cm leaves that produce these delightful sprays of closely packed flowers. Along with most of our pleurothallis species this plant lives in our Cool Americas section, cool and wet throughout the year.
This species is our 26th Pleurothallis species in 365 days reflecting the wonderful diversity of the genus and the general diversity of our Cool Americas section that has contributed more than double the species of any other section to 365 days. It continues to surprise me that tropical visitor attractions (such as the tropical Conservatory in Roath Park, Cardiff, that I visited last week) are kept over hot and over humid, and contain the limited diversity that appreciates those conditions. The greatest tropical diversity is in the cool and airy mountains of South and Central America, Asia and Africa. Why not make a New Year’s resolution to go and visit one of these areas in 2018.
Its hard to see individual flowers in this photo, but it looks like it has two lateral sepals, rather than a fused “synsepal” – if thats the case, it is probably a Crocodeilanthe (now part of the genus Stelis), not a Pleurothallis as currently defined.
Thanks for your help Mark – really appreciated.
I agree with your comments about Roath Park. Birmingham Botanical Gardens are the same. Not funny if you are dressed in winter clothes when you visit. I would recommend a looser corset next time too!. I feel sorry for the people who have to work in these glasshouses. They must get very dehydrated.
I have really enjoyed reading about all the different orchids on your 365 days. Only one more day to go. I will miss them.
Please would you give some advice. The Asesqipedale veitchii has a lower leaf on each side turning slightly yellow. I wondered if it is getting enough light. Our house faces east – west. I have put the orchid in our sittingroom, facing east. Being a victorian cottage the windows are not very large. Do you think it gets enough light?
I have watered the orchid as you said by putting it in a bowl of water once a week for a day. We have wood fired central heating which makes the air much drier than gas central heating does. Do you think there will be enough humidity for the plant? The room it is in also has a wood burner which when run makes the room very toasty.
Will the Orchid need feeding and if so what with?
Thanks for your help.
The loss of one or two leaves after the effort of flowering is normal. Orchids do need feeding and any plant food will do fine but as orchids do not grow at the rate of Tomatoes or other veg and flowers, and can be sensitive to high levels of dissolved salts, we feed with weak feed (about 1/4 strength) every other watering. For us that means every other 1000 litre tank of rainwater but at home means every other can of rainwater.
I would not expect your plant to worry about a dry atmosphere if it is damp at the roots. East facing should be perfect and although it is a bit dark in the winter it will enjoy the increase of light now we are past the shortest day.
Thank you for your advice. I was a bit worried. The orchid is still giving off a wonderful perfume in the evening. My husband loves it.
Happy New Year!