Pleurothallis marthae- 365 days of orchids – day 1861
Pleurothallis marthae is a real oddity with its very large (40cm diameter) lily pad like leaves on 90cm long stems. The flowers are the largest of any of our pleurothallis though they are quite small for the size of the plant. A real bonus is the plant’s habit of flowering several times each year.
The species comes from around 2000m altitude in Ecuador where it grows as an epiphyte in dense forest. Our experience in cultivation is that it likes to be wet enough for moss to grow on its basket(see above), cool (minimum 12C) and shaded to avoid its large leaves overheating – heat stress causes premature yellowing of the leaves and leaf drop. We try hard to keep it cool in the summer by dropping its basket to as near to the floor as we can – the lowest metre in the greenhouse is usually 5 degrees cooler than higher in the greenhouse.
The photo we took in 2018 gives a good idea of the leaf size and an interesting comparison with a flowering plant of Pleurothallis grobyi.