365 days of orchids – day 635 – Masdevallia picea

Fragrance is a big part of the attraction of many of our orchid species and this is one of our most notable fragrant orchids. Masdevallia picea has a really unpleasant smell likened by most who smell it to vomit although Ed who looks after the plant is very fond of the smell. Of course at school all the species with unpleasant smalls are rather popular, and great for introducing to visitors. The plant’s common name is the pitch black Masdevallia which is a bit peculiar as it is mostly dark red with a yellow centre and yellow tails. If you don’t have a stinking orchid in your collection I recommend this one.

The species is native to cool mountain forests in northern Peru where it is found at around 2700m altitude. We grow the plant with other Masdevallias in Cool Americas.


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