Gomesa crispa – 365 days of orchids – day 1623

This little orchid may not have the intense flower colour of yesterday’s Cochlioda noezliana but it rivals any species in terms of floriferousness.

This rewarding species comes from Brazil and we found it growing abundantly in the forests around Macae de Cima in our expeditions in 2000 and 2005. Gomesa crispa is a pioneer species, meaning that it is one of the first epiphytes to establish in regrowth forest. As soon as humidity is high enough for moss to grow at the base of the trunks of young trees, the plant will establish in this moss as a very low level epiphyte just 10cm off the ground. It also grows in more mature forest and in elfin forest on mountain ridges.

The flowers are a yellow/green colour but very attractively crisped (hence the name) and a healthy plant produces a very long spikes and usually two spikes from each bulb (see photo)

We have grown this species successfully in both Cool Americas and Warm Americas but we find it does best grown in Cool Americas which is similar to its natural habitat and enjoys growing in a small basket where it is a little dryer than some of the surrounding plants. The very extensive root system also reflects an ability to cope with dryer conditions.

The photo here from our 2005 trip to Brazil shows the natural habitat for the species in relatively open regrowth forest with young trees.


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