365 days of orchids – day 452 – Leptotes bicolor


More hopes for the London Show today with our large Leptotes bicolor. This plant won a cultural commendation from the RHS last year and looks as if it wants another trip to Westminster.

This small species is native to Brazil and is part of the Cattleya family. We have observed this species in the wild growing on a shady moss covered granite rock face in dryish forest at 900m altitude. We cultivate it in our Warm Americas section (minimum 15C) and mounted on bark where it is watered every day to replicate the water availability available of the wild plant.

The leptotes is the white dots in the photo below on the shaded rock. Note also spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) growing on the tree (left side of the photo) and arboreal ants nests in the tree.


Join the Discussion


  1. Agnes Jones says:

    Does Spanish moss flower and why is it called Spanish Moss?

    I am sure you will win prizes again with leptotes bicolour. I like the pink colouration to it.

    • Jacob Coles says:

      Spanish Moss does flower, small green flowers with orange centres at around this time of year. It’s called Spanish moss because of its similarity of moss, and it was first discovered in the Spanish speaking parts of South America.

  2. Agnes Jones says:

    Thanks Jacob. I have always wondered about those spanish mosses that are always knocking me on the head when I sweep the greenhouse.

    Today I bought a Cypripedium Orchid at Hillier’s garden Center. What does it need to grow well please? The instructions with it are not too informative.

    Thank you