365 days of orchids – day 404 – Maxillaria porphyrostele
This is a new species to 365 days but one we have grown in the orchid project for more than twenty years. The species is native to cool mountain forest in the Mata Atlantica Brazil and we have seen similar species in the mild where they grow tight to the trunk and lower branches of trees in primary forests that have a wet summer and a cooler dryer winter.
We grow the species in our Cool America section in pots and baskets with free draining compost but heavy watering during the summer months when in growth. The 2cm pseudobulbs mature in the autumn and flower spikes appear from the base of the newest bulbs in Jnuary each with a striking sulfur yellow flower. Looking closely into the flower reveals the purple column which gives the species its name (Porphyrostele = purple columned). The purple extens around the base of the lip too.
The flowers are long lasting if plants are kept dry when in flower.