The holidays have arrived but life goes on in the Orchid house and yesterday morning I was struck by this little miniature flowering on mounts, in pots and in baskets around Cool Americas.
Most Stelis species have spikes of small flowers but these are smaller than most (the plant is in a 3cm pot) and pinky brown. The plant makes up for the size of the flowers by producing them in splendid abundance. This plant will be in flower for at least six weeks now with multiple spikes appearing from the base of all the leaves.
Stelis congesta is endemic to Ecuador where it grows in cloud forests at around 1900m. Over time it lives up to its name and produces a mass of upright leaves and flower spikes. the mounted plant is particularly appealing with spikes from evert leaf base.
The flowers are only about 3-4mm across but the mass of flowers give a very attractive display. We find the species vigorous and easy to propagate by division, and a very rewarding little species to brighten up the winter greenhouse.