Platystele consorbrina – 365 days of orchids – day 981

Another new species for 365 days is this tiny flowered species from Colombia.

The species is almost always in flower as the very long spikes produce flowers successively over several months. the individual flowers are just under 1cm across and have a lovely deep red lip that contrasts with the other pale petals and sepals.

The plant here is in a 3cm pot and the leaves are 5cm long making the plant very compact apart from the very long spikes.

The species grows in wet forests from 1600-2100m and we find it is a vigorous grower in pots baskets or mounted.



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  1. A Jones says:

    Do you know what pollinates this one?

  2. Annette Barsby says:

    Has anyone any care instructions for this orchid please? I know it prefers shade and to be kept damp
    but that’s all. I only received this less than a month ago and want to make sure it thrives
    Thank you

    • Simon Pugh-Jones says:

      Thanks for your question – the forest where this plant is native is ‘cool tropical’ because it is up a tropical mountain, and evergreen because there is rainfall throughout the year. Platystele plants grow as epiphytes (that means grow on the bark of trees but not as a parasite – it just roots to the outside of the bark so that it is in the light (the forest floor in similar forests we have visited are almost pitch dark even at midday). It will probably share its branch or trunk with moss, ferns and bromeliads. Plants will be on the lower canopy, so not at the thin ends of branches, but in the areas where they have some shade from the leaves above – most commonly on the branches near where they meet the trunk of the tree.
      So armed with this information your Platystele will feel at home if
      1.it has a suitable temperature (anywhere from 12C to 30C is fine) so indoors and not outside.
      2. It has enough water – water a couple of times a week at least – it wont mind sitting in a little water for a day or two but not permenantly in a pool of water.
      3. Pure enough water – tap water in Somerset has lots of dissolved salts and so if used on plants the salts build up (a white crust on the compost) and poison the roots – we only use rain water but do add weak plant food throughout the growing season (march-september)
      4. It has enough light but not too much – for a shade loving orchid like platystele a north facing window is great or if the window gets much direct sunshine the plant is better on a shelf facing the window but not right in it so it gets maybe an hour of direct sunshine as the sun moves.
      I hope taht this helps – good luck

    • Annette Barsby says:

      Hello and thank you Simon for that information.
      Sorry for late reply but I did not get any indication that you had left a msg for me.
      The bark the plant is in smells a little as though it’s rotting, not a pleasant smell you would expect from bark. So I am going to re-pot it.
      I’ve a new flower spike appeared, so that must be a good sign.
      Cheers, Annette