Leptotes bicolor- 365 days of orchids – day 1192

In this time of travel restriction let me transport you to Brazil.

Leptotes bicolor is one of the species we found during our expeditions to Brazil in 2000 and 2006. We observed it growing on a shady moss covered granite rock face in dryish forest at 900m altitude. We cultivate it in our Warm Americas section (minimum 150C) and mounted on bark where it is watered every day. We have found a semi shaded spot that replicates the species’ native cliff face habitat.

The leptotes is the white dots in the photo below on the shaded rock. Note also spanish moss growing on the tree and arboreal ants nests in the tree too.

The plant of Leptotes bicolor in our top photographs have been in the school greenhouse since 1994 when it arrived as a seedling mounted on the small piece of cork bark it still clings to. It has steadily grown into a stunning ball of small terete leaves and masses of white and pink flowers. It won a  Certificate of Cultural Commendation from the RHS Orchid Committee in 2018 and keeps getting better and better. It is a real treat to look at this little jewel of a plant and remember the warmth and wonder of the Organ Mountains – I will see if I can find another Brazilian species for tomorrows post.


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