Masdevallia attenuata – 365 days of orchids – day 1493

Today’s species is a miniature Masdevallia with pretty little pointed flowers (attenuata means pointed). This little plant is growing in a 5.5cm pot has 5cm leaves and lots of single flowers on delicate stems.

Masdevallia attenuata is native to cool mountain forests from Costa Rica to Ecuador. We have a number of small flowered masdevallias with similar coloured flowers (probably attracting similar pollinators) that shine out amongst the dark green leaves of our Cool Americas section.

This species enjoys being constantly damp and this results in moss forming on the pot which must be kept under control to stop it out competing the orchid. We grow the plant in our Cool Americas section in shade under other plants where it flourishes and can be divided every few years. As you can see the plant is in active growth and enjoying the cool winter weather – and the school looks lovely with a layer of snow lying too.


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