We have a new species for 365 days of orchids today. Gongora nigropunctata is endemic to Peru where it grows in warm wet forest at around 700-900m altitude. This habitat is the challenge for all gongora growers – we grow plants in baskets because of the pendulous spikes but have to work hard to keep plants damp enough to suit their preference.
The name nigropunctata implies dark spots but our plants (like others we have seen) has red spots – so this is possibly not the best botanical naming of all time! Despite this the species is absolutely gorgeous and fragrant of course. All gongoras are pollinated by perfume gathering male euglossine bees. We are hoping that the species flowers again later in the year for our film company partners producing a wonderful wildlife film about the bees and filming in our greenhouse too.
This species is considered by some to be a synonym of Gongora grossa (below) which it is similar to, but we keep it separate as the two are easy to tell apart in the greenhouse.