Prosthechea prismatocarpa – 365 days of orchids – day 1660

We will end this week with a wonderful collection of Prosthecheas – this genus is a star of the summer orchid house and was a real point of interest for the Britain in Bloom judges that visited yesterday. Here are some of our fantastic Year 7 and Year8 team below.

Prosthechea prismatocarpa is the first of this weeks Prosthecheas and is a large growing member of the cattleya family. The species produces long spikes of dramatic flowers that are butterfly pollinated with the pink section of the lip the perfect shape for a large butterfly to grab hold of.

We have seen Prosthechea prismatocarpa growing in Costa Rica where we found it in tall remnant trees on cloudy ridges at around 1500m. The trees had Masdevallia rolfeana growing on their trunks and, not surprisingly, we find that the two species do well close to each other in our Cool Americas section but with Prosthechea prismatocarpa growing a little brighter and dryer as it grows higher in the Coata Rican trees.

We have two varieties of the species; the clone above is Prosthechea prismatocarpa ‘Writhglington’ which has larger  ‘tall’ flowers, longer spikes and darker markings than the more usual variety below with slightly smaller, ‘wide’ flowers and a more spreading habit.

Here are the two flowers next to each other for comparison with “Writhlington’ on the right.


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