Odontoglossum cristatum (Oncidium cristatum)- 365 days of orchids – day 1915

Today we have to feature our prize winning Odontoglossum cristatum. (Photographed here in Glasgow yesterday)

This wonderful orchid has been in flower since January and with 15 flower spikes will still be in flower at the end of May.


We have had this species at Writhlington since 1996 and it is always a special time when plants come into flower. Over the years it has won  Grand Champion of Europe at the Paris Show in 2018, a Cultural Certificate from the RHS and countless rosettes. The clone ‘Writhlington is a particularly large flowered and long spiked individual with deep red flowers. We have other clones too that are smaller growing and have brown flowers.

 Grand Champion in Paris

Odontoglossum cristatum is native to Ecuador and Colombia where it is found in cloud forest from 1500-2600 m altitude and so it is very well suited to growing in our Cool Americas section. I have always known this plant as Odontoglossum cristatum but odontoglossum species have been included in Oncidium on the basis of molecular studies although there is scientific support for reinstating Odontoglossum.

Our plants go back to a seedling purchased in 1996 and since then we have grown the species in pots, mounted and in baskets. We find that the species particularly enjoys a basket where it produces masses of roots and can grow into a specimen.


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