365 days of orchids – day 453 – Cochlioda noezliana
This is possibly the brightest orchid species we grow and one that should light up our London Show display next week.
Cochlioda noezliana a startling scarlet species from the cloud forests of Colombia that has been a major influence on orchid breeding since its discovery. It is the orchid species behind the red in many of the red orchids hybrids sold around the world today in the Oncidineae subtribe.
The glowing colour is there to attract humming birds and represents parallel evolution to that of Cattleya coccinea (day 20) The other lovely pollination feature here is the two yellow beak guides on the lip to help the pollinating bird find the nectar.
This species has a reputation as not the easiest to grow but we find it straight forward if you stick to the cool moist conditions of its cloud forest home (our cool Americas section) and our larger plant has three spikes so far and two of these should be out for London.