We have a real cracker for Christmas this year!
Brassia verrucosa is a lovely species with dramatic flowers and our specimen plant with seven long spikes is so lovely that I am half expecting three wise men to come an pay homage to it!
Brassia verrucosa is commonly known as the spider orchid and has the most wonderful long spidery petals. It also has a relationship with a white spider in the wild. The spider hides camouflaged on the lip and catches insects attracted to the flower.
The plant is native to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, as well as Venezuela and grows as an epiphyte in seasonally wet forest from 900 to 2400m. For us the species does best in Warm Americas where it is hung up for good light but is kept really wet during the summer growing season to build up the massive pseudobulbs that deliver the long arching sprays of flowers.
Last year has this plant had five spikes and as you can see from the photo rather dwarfed Naiya and Ed when they picked it up.
The name refers to the verrucose, or warty, lip with rather intriguing green warts on the creamy white ground.
Happy Christmas to orchid enthusiasts everywhere.