We have a wonderful species for you today. This miniature member of the Cattleya family is a mass of flowers every April and a reminder of the remarkable orchids of the Mata Atlantica, Brazil.
Leptotes bicolor is one of the species we found during our expeditions to Brazil in 2000 and 2006. We observed it growing on a shady moss covered granite rock face in dryish forest at 900m altitude. We cultivate it in our Warm Americas section (minimum 150C) and mounted on bark where it is watered every day. We have found a semi shaded spot that replicates the species’ native cliff face habitat.
The leptotes is the white dots in the photo below on the shaded rock. Note also spanish moss growing on the tree and arboreal ants nests in the tree too.
The plant of Leptotes bicolor in our top photographs have been in the school greenhouse since 1994 when it arrived as a seedling mounted on the small piece of cork bark it still clings to. It has steadily grown into a stunning ball of small terete leaves and masses of white and pink flowers. It won a Certificate of Cultural Commendation from the RHS Orchid Committee in 2018 is now in need of dividing.
We have seedlings doing well in the propagation lab and hope to have seedlings available later this year, then more people can enjoy this wonderful species and be transported to the Organ Mountains of Brazil.