This week our Warm Americas section is awash with Xylobium flowers. Xylobium subintegrum is a large growing plant (the plant here is in a 1 litre pot) and it produces masses of flowers as the recently matured bulbs produce up the three flower spikes (up to 1m long) alongside the new growths as they emerge in late summer.
Xylobium is a genus of terrestrial and epiphytic orchids from South and Central America and we saw one species in Brazil on our expeditions there.
Xylobium subintegrum is a cool growing epiphyte from Ecuador and Peru where it grows in cool wet forest from 1700 to 2000m altitude. It is a robust plant with large pseudobulbs and thick large leaves.
The long flower spikes each with ten to twenty attractive flowers and prominent bracts, are a little unruly but we resist the urge to stake them as they look very attractive against the leaves without canes to spoil the effect. The red striped lip is really spectacular if you can find a flower that is looking at you.