This unusual species is new to 365 Days of orchids. We have had the plant in our collection since the late 1990’s but almost lost it due to under watering about ten years ago and it has taken those ten years to return to this impressive state. Growths are 2-3ft high and all of the two year old growths are topped with an stunning spike of bright yellow flowers, each partly enclosed in an orange and purple bract that gives the spike its dark orange tip. The flowers have purple stripes on the lip and a purple anther cap, adding to the splendour of the species.
Elleanthus myrosmatis is an epiphyte found from Colombia down to Peru in mountain forests from 400-2600m altitude. We have grown the species in a range of conditions and find that it prefers life in our Warm Americas section (min 15C) with plenty of water throughout the year.
In common with other Elleanthus species such as Elleanthus amethystinus (below), which we also grow, Elleanthus myrosmatis is pollinated by humming birds and produces copious quantities of nectar. The individual flowers are fairly short lived but the long spikes keep flowering for several weeks.
We hope to produce viable seed from this flowering as we feel that this species should be more widely grown, it is less unruly than many of the genus with attractive stiff flattened stems and broad leaves.