Stelis purpurea – 365 days of orchids – day 765


This species just about qualifies for ‘orange week’ as the small flowers have a picotee edge of orange/red which is very attractive on the buds and the flowers. The name however suggests that the flowers should be dark red or purple!

Our plant came from the nursery Ecuagenera and their website shows the species growing as a terrestrial in presumably good light as the plant has much redder flowers as the picotee edge is much more marked. (below)

Image result for stelis purpurea

As an experiment we will move our plant higher in the greenhouse and see what effect increased light has on the flowers.

The species is quite large for a stelis with flower spikes 40cm long and these give a real impact.

Stelis purpurea is reported as being found from Costa Rica to Peru and from 150m-2900m which sounds rather unlikely as this is a very broad range of habitats. It seems probable that the name is used for more than one species with purplish flowers but our version of the species is a lovely thing.


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