Cuitlauzina pendula (Odontoglossum pendulum) – 365 days of orchids – day 1645

Every June we eagerly await the opening of the graceful spikes of Cuitlauzina pendula.

The name pendula is well chosen as the flower spikes are dramatically pendulous which in the wild would hang the flowers below the branches plants grows on.

This species which used to be known as Odontoglossum citrosmum, and then Odontoglossum pendulum, is native to cool oak pine forests in Mexico from 1400 to 2200m where is experiences warm wet summers and cool dry winters.

We find that plants do best in baskets that allow for their pendulous flower spikes and hanging plants in the roof of our Cool Americas section during their dry winter rest. It seems that the dry winter rest is really important for flowering. This was one of the first orchids I grew as a teenager (when my plants were labelled Odontoglossum citrosmum) and seeing the flowers takes me back to the first time I saw these stunning flowers in the 1970s – and I am still astonished by them every time.

The flowers emerge from the new growths in the early summer and from flowering onwards we feed and water heavily until the new bulb is mature.


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