Stelis purpurea- 365 days of orchids – day 1136


We have a really graceful orchid this morning. Stelis purpurea has small creamy flowers with a picotee edge of red which is very attractive on the buds and the flowers. The name however suggests that the flowers should be dark red or purple!

Our plant came from the nursery Ecuagenera and their website shows the species growing as a terrestrial in presumably good light as the plant has much redder flowers as the picotee edge is much more marked. (below)

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The grassland habitat explains the long graceful flower spikes that are sometime branched.

The species is quite large for a stelis with flower spikes 40cm long and these give a real impact.

Stelis purpurea is reported as being found from Costa Rica to Peru and from 150m-2900m which sounds rather unlikely as this is a very broad range of habitats. It seems probable that the name is used for more than one species with purplish flowers but our version of the species is a lovely thing.


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