Pleurothallis ruscifolia – 365 days of orchids – day 738

Another of our favourite Pleurothaliis species today with a species we have seen growing in Costa Rica.

Pleurothallis ruscifolia is a medium sized plant that produces clusters of small creamy yellow flowers several times during the year.

We found the species growing abundantly in cool wet forest in Costa Rica on the Poas volcano at an altitude of around 1400m. The photo below was taken in Costa Rica by one of the students on our 2005 expedition and shows how the flowers shine out when caught in a shaft of sunlight breaking through the lush canopy above.

Most of the plants we saw were growing on the trunks or lower branches of large evergreen trees and so spent much of their time in deep shade. We visited Costa Rica in July and found that on Poas it rained heavily every day. The rain usually arrived at about 12.30 and continued until about 4pm. We grow the species mounted and in pots in Cool Americas and keep it watered all year to reflect the climate it has evolved for but don’t stick rigidly to the Costa Rican timings for watering each day.



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