Oncidium sphaculatum – 365 days of orchids – day 1574

Oncidium sphaculatum is a majestic and impressive species with dense branched spikes 2m long each carrying over 100 yellow and brown flowers. This plant has five spikes and so with more than 500 flowers is a sight to behold.

We first found the species in the wild in lowland Guatemala in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala – the largest tract of rainforests north of the Amazon. Oncidium spaculatum was common on large trees and palms around Laguna Yaxha. A particlarly fond memory is finding an old fruiting palm that contained several Oncidium spaculatum plants and their long flower spikes as well as a Toucan feeding on the palm fruits.

Oncidium spaculatum is found in dryish lowland forest from Mexico through Central America to Venezuela where it experiences a hot wet season and a long dryer season. We find it appreciates lots of water and feed in the summer when in growth and a much dryer winter with enough water to stop the bulbs shrivelling. We grow plants in warm, Americas (min 15C) although plants would appreciate higher temperatures. When we were staying amongst plants in Guatemala the night time temperatures were around 25C.


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