Oncidium sphaculatum – 365 days of orchids – day 1259

Oncidium sphaculatum is an impresive species with dense branched spikes 2m long and over 100 yellow and brown flowers. I am surprised to find that we have never included this iconic species in 365 days of orchids and today we are puting that right.

We firtst found the species in the wild in lowland Guatemala in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala – the largest tract of rainforests north of the Amazon. Oncidium spaculatum was common on large trees and palms around Laguna Yaxha. A particlarly fond memory is finding an old fruiting palm that contained several Oncidium spaculatum plants and their long flower spikes as well as a Toucan feeding on the palm fruits.

Oncidium spaculatum is found in dryish lowland forest from Mexico through Central America to Venezuela where it experiences a hot wet season and a long dryer season. We find it appreciates lots of water and feed in the summer when in growth and a much dryer winter with enough water to stop the bulbs shrivelling. We grow plants in warm, Americas (min 15C) although plants would appreciate higher temperatures. When we were staying amongst them in Guatemala the night time temperatures were around 25C.



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