Some of our orchids (like yesterday’s Cymbidium erythraeum) are strongly seasonal while others flower throughout the year. Masdevallia veitchiana can surprise us with its vibrant flowers at any time and looking at previous posts, we have featured it in the Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer – what an orchid.
The flowers look orange and red but this coplour is actually made from the flowers combination of a yellow ground and tiny raised pink warts – a clever trick.
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. We replicate these conditions in our Cool Americas section where it is kept damp throughout the year. We try to provide more light that for some of our Masdevallias.
The Incas call the species Wajanki.