Brassavola cuculata – 365 days of orchids – day 1318

This charismatic species always takes me back to the lowland forests of Guatemala where I first saw it growing in the wild and with a warm day in the greenhouse it reallt feels as if I am there. The flowers are always held slightly pendulously, emerging from the newest leaf and held clear of the leaves for pollinating moths.

This terete leaved species is found through Central America and northern South America. In Guatemala we found it growing in dryish lowland forest near the ancient Mayan city of Yaxha. The plant below was flowering on the edge of a small cliff south of Laguna Yaxha attached to a fallen branch.


A nearby tree had been blown horizontal by hurricanes and so hung over the cliff with several seedlings of Brassavola cuculata growing along its trunk.

We find that the species grows best mounted or in baskets of open bark in good light in our Warm Americas section. The species is night scented to suit its moth pollinators.


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