Stelis emarginata ‘big orange’ – 365 days of orchids – day 1891

For the first day of April we have a joyous spring orchid.

This little species makes a wonderful floriferous plant in a 6cm pot (above) or a small basket (top).

Some plants seem to change their name more than others. We first purchased this species in the 1990’s as Pleurothallis tubata before changing it to Physosiphon tubatus to reflect changes in Pleurothallis, before changing it back to Pleurothallis tubata, then finally changing it to Stelis emarginata.

What ever its name it is a fantastic small growing orchid that does well in pots, mounted or in baskets, producing masses of small orange or yellow flowers that cover the plant. The leaves are stiff and rather spoon shaped, lasting many years and producing fresh flower spikes when ever the plant comes into bloom.

Stelis seems to fit it well but it is a tougher plant that many of the Stelis species we grow so a great addition to any collection. We grow it in Cool Americas where the orange clone flowers in April and the yellow clone flowers in May. It is native to central America and is found from 1800 to 3500m altitude indicating that it could grow cooler than we grow it.


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