Masdevallia calura – 365 days of orchids – day 1383

We have lots of small plants of this lovely little Masdevallia coming into flower this week. The species is endemic to Costa Rica where we have seen it growing and flowering on remnant trees at 1400m (from memory) on a misty volcanic ridge.

The photo taken back in 2003 shows the species growing in thick moss on the trunk of a large tree with abundant other epiphytes.

…and to give an ide of the habitat here is botanist Franco Pupulin up the tree getting a closer look.

The species is recorded from 200-2000m altitude and so is unlikely to be fussy about temperature but we grow the species cool (min 12C) and well watered all year reflecting the habitat in which we observed plants.

The species is one of the smaller growing masdevallias with leaves around 6-8cm and flowers clear of the leaves on repeat flowering spikes. Remember not to cut the old spikes until they are completely dead – we have had at least five flowers over a long period from some spikes. The photo below shows a bud about to open on an old spike that first flowered this spring and the open flower is also on a spike that has flowered before. This means that plants produce are really floriferous and flower several times a year – great if you are spotting orchids in Costa Rica, or growing masdevallias on your window cill.

We find the species thrives mounted or in a pot. I will be adding plants to our shop later today.


Join the Discussion


  1. Agnes Jones says:

    Is this another orchid of the day or a bonus orchid? It is really cute. A lovely surprise way to brighten up a cold, damp evening.

  2. JasonB says:

    Just to say, really great reading your blog and enjoy the daily orchid snippets for whatever weird and wonderful species is growing in your greenhouses.
    Also super great to see the photos of plants in situ. Seeing those masdies growing there makes me realise I should try more moss in with mine!

    • Simon Pugh-Jones says:

      We feel very fortunate to have explored so many rich tropical habitats on our school expeditions and have learnt so much.