WSBEorchids

Masdevallia veitchiana – 365 days of orchids – day 1211

 

This morning I was transported to Peru – Masdevallia veitchiana had opened its first outrageously dramatic flower of the spring. The colour of the flowers is quite extraordinary with the glowing orange ground and iridescent stripes of red or purple. Close inspection reveals that the red areas of the flower are produced by tiny purple hairs that cover the orange sepals.

 

This species is endemic to Peru where it grows between 2000m and 4000m as a terrestrial amongst grasses and we are indebted to Henry Oakley for these great photographs of the species on Machu Picchu. This habitat explains the long flower spikes which carry the flowers well clear of the leaves and in reach of pollinating humming birds.

 

The colour of the flowers is quite extraordinary with the glowing orange ground and iridescent stripes of red or purple. Close inspection reveals that the red areas of the flower are produced by tiny purple hairs that cover the orange sepals. The Incas call the species Wajanki.

We grow the species in baskets in Cool Americas, amongst its close relatives such as Masdevallia coccinea (below) but give Masdevallia veitchiana plants extra light by hanging them higher in the greenhouse.

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  1. Agnes Jones says:

    I love this brightly colored orchid. I bought a Masdevallia decuman x veitchiana from you about a year ago. Is it a cross between Masdevallia veitchiana and masdevallia decuman and if so what will the flowers be like?