Dryadella edwalii – 365 days of orchids – day 1129

The School Greenhouse was a lovely place to be yesterday lunchtime with the winter sun streaming in from the south. We are busy moving some of our plants that have been resting, in cooler sections, back to their warmer homes now that spring is kicking in. While moving plants around we realised that this lovely Brazilian species has been flowering for weeks without us noticing!


Dryadella edwalii is a relative of Masdevallia is native to the Mata Atlantica cloud forests of Eastern Brazil. Students recorded Dryadella species on our 2005 expedition to Brazil on their trek up to Velutina ridge (the habitat of Cattleya velutina)

The dryadellas were growing on the lower trunks of stunted trees in elfin forest near a ridge at around 1200m altitude. The trees had a number of orchids on them including maxillaria species and pleurothallis species, and the dryadellas were growing below these other orchids and some of them growing very low light as shown in the photos taken in Brazil (Below).

We find plants do best for us mounted but then grown in heavy shade on a north facing wall and sprayed daily. The flowers are long lasting and small can produce a lot of flowers which stand well clear of the leaves but you need to keep your eyes open for the subtle flowers appearing between the leaves.


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  1. Agnes Jones says:

    These are land living octopuses not orchids!