There aren’t many things that begin with an X and so we are rather fond of our Xylobium species and this is the most dramatic one we have.
Xylobium is a genus of terrestrial and epiphytic orchids from South and Central America and we saw one species in Brazil on our expeditions there.
Xylobium subintegrum is a cool growing epiphyte from Ecuador and Peru where it grows in cool wet forest from 1700 to 2000m altitude. It is a robust plant with large pseudobulbs and thick large leaves.
In late summer the new pseudobulbs produce a number of 50cm long flower spikes each with ten to twenty attractive flowers and prominent bracts. The spikes are a little unruly but we resist the urge to stake them as they look very attractive against the leaves without canes to spoil the effect. The red striped lip is really spectacular if you can fins a flower that is looking at you.