Stenoglottis longifolia – 365 days of orchids – day 1018

Our Stenoglottis area in our Temperate section is a picture this week with multiple sprays of small pink spotty flowers. We have a mixture of Stenoglottis longifolia – originally donated as seedlings in vitro by Keith Andrew in 1995 – Stenoglottis fimbriata – purchased soon afterwards – and the hybrid between the two species which we raised from seed at the end of the 1990s.


Today’s species is closely related to Stenoglottis fimbriata (day 996) and is also a terrestrial species from South Africa. It is found on mossy banks in the Drakensberg Mountains and so is a really cool growing orchid. We grow the species in our Temperate section with a minimum winter temperature of 4C and vents that open at 10C. We keep plants wet all summer but let them dry out from the end of December when the leaves turn brown and fall off.

The species differs from Stenoglottis fimbriata in the larger rounder flowers, leaves without spots and generally more robust and larger growth habit. It flowers about a month after Stenoglottis fimbriata from October through to January.

The species can also be separated by the lip details shown below (thanks Joe for the great photos)

 Stenoglottis longifolia has a lip ending in seven points (three from each side lobe and one from the midlobe)

 Stenoglottis fimbriata has a lip ending in three points (the mid lobe and two side lobes)

Interestingly we have made a hybrid between the two and seedlings have turned out very intermediate between the parents. Crossing the very spotted leaves of S.fimbriata with the all green leaves of S. longifolia has produced leaves with a few spots, and the flowers have a lip ending in generally five points with two from each side lobe shown below.

 Stenoglottis longifolia x fimbriata


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  1. Tim Rogers says:

    The longifolia that I bought from you at Malvern earlier this year currently has two spikes growing quickly. Yeah!! I also have a fimbriata in bloom, very dainty.