365 days of orchids – day 422 – Stelis hirtzii
Another of our South American miniature species today with this pretty little species native to the cloud forests of Northern Ecuador featuring in 365 days for the first time. The leaves are about 1cm long and so this mature plant could comfortably be covered by one hand. The flowers though are relatively large and very attractive when looked at closely with a orange brown ground and bright red stripes on the lip and column.
We find that the species does best mounted as it is somewhat pendulous in its growth habit. A real bonus is the repeat flowering throughout the year. We grow the species in Coll Americas where it seems fond of a very shady spot on a north facing wall. As you can see from the moss that has grown on its mount, we grow the species wet all year.
I have just looked up your book Orchids of Sikkim 1889 by G King. What amazing botanical drawings. It is a shame people don’t seem to be able to draw like that any more.