365 days of orchids – day 402 – Masdevallia veitchiana
It seems to masdevallia week here at the Orchid Project. This species is endemic to Peru where it grows between 2000m and 4000m as a terrestrial on rocky slopes amongst grasses. This explains the long flower spikes which carry the flowers well clear of the leaves and in reach of pollinating humming birds.
The colour of the flowers is quite extraordinary with the glowing orange ground and iridescent stripes of red or purple. Close inspection reveals that the red areas of the flower are produced by tiny purple hairs that cover the orange sepals. The Incas call the species Wajanki.
We grow the species in baskets in Cool Americas.
When I was a little girl in the 1970’s, a long time ago, my Mum had a light shade made from curled plastic, the same colour orange as this flower. The petals of this flower curl in the same way. My Mum had curtains to match too. I bought her a little orange vase for her birthday. If she was alive today I am sure she would love this vibrant and cheerful orange flower to add to her decor.
I really like the way the way the flower is photographed against the black background with the green leaves behind it. The contrast makes the flower seem even more iridescent. A fantastic photo.
Was your mother’s lamp shade ever visited by humming birds?
She had a yellow budgie. Will that do?