Some orchids are not blessed with the most appealing of names and this one sounds like an orchid with Corona virus!!! Fortunately it tests negative on a lateral flow test and positive on a ‘cute little orchid that is easy to grow test’
Most Stelis species have spikes of small flowers but these are smaller than most (the plant is in a 3cm pot) and pinky brown. The plant makes up for the size of the flowers by producing them in splendid abundance. This plant will be in flower for at least six weeks now with multiple spikes appearing from the base of all the leaves.
Stelis congesta is endemic to Ecuador where it grows in cloud forests at around 1900m. Over time it lives up to its name and produces a mass of upright leaves and flower spikes. the mounted plant is particularly appealing with spikes from evert leaf base.
The flowers are only about 3-4mm across but the mass of flowers give a very attractive display. We find the species vigorous and easy to propagate by division, and a very rewarding little species to brighten up the winter greenhouse.
We will have plants for sale at the RHS Orchid Show Wisley 25-27th March (and on the shop straight afterwards if we have and plants left.)