365 days of orchids – day 723 – Barkeria whartoniana

As usual in December our Warm Americas section is dominated by barkeria species including Barkeria skinneri, Barkeria lindleyana and this species which is smaller flowered but very floriferous.

Barkeria whartoniana is native to Oaxaca state, Mexico, where it grows in dry deciduous forest either as an epiphyte of on rocks . As a result it produces masses of thick roots that resent being surrounded by damp compost and prefer being exposed to the air. We grow plants mounted and hanging high in our Warm Americas Section (min 15C) where plants are exposed to good light and lots of air. Plants produce thin stems about 30cm long with lush but short-lived leaves and then a branching flower spike that adds a further 80cm to the growth. Plants are semi deciduous and leaves are only remaining on this year’s growth.

With us, Barkeria whartoniana starts to flower in December and will still be flowering in March. New growth follow flowering and we water plants every day when in growth but less often during the winter.



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