Maxillaria picta- 365 days of orchids – day 1780

What a treat this morning, the large fragrant flowers of Maxillaria picta have opened just in time for tonight’s festivities (Orchid Christmas 4pm-7pm all welcome) The photograph below shows the red spots that give the species its name.

Maxillaria picta fills the whole greenhouse with is wonderful honey scent and it is wonderful that this year you can’t join us in person to experience it.

The scent always reminds me of the first time we found the species in Brazil. In April 2000 a group of students and I were walking through regrowth forest at around 1200m and were stopped in our tracks by a powerful honey sweet scent filling the air around us. Nearby we found the remains of an ancient fallen tree and a plant of Maxillaria picta at least 1.5m across still growing where it had fallen (photo below)

Presumably the plant had survived the fire that had swept through this patch of forest about thirty years ago and carried on growing on its now dead tree which has since fallen. The regrowth forest still lets plenty of light down to ground level and so the plant is growing and flowering happily.

We grow the species happily in either Cool Americas or Warm Americas and water it well throughout the year.

We are delighted to have a few plants available for tonight’s sales table (any any unsold will be on our online shop tomorrow)


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