Stelis reginae – 365 days of orchids – day 966


It is rather cool and windy for early August and rather cool in the greenhouse this morning which is just what this species loves.

Stelis reginae is one of the larger flowered Stelis and is endemic to Ecuador where it is found in wet cloud forest at 1800m. We therefore grow the species cool and wet all year. It  has flowers with a very attractive pink edging against the cream ground colour and our large specimen flowers for many months over the summer and autumn.

We find that growing specimen plants of Stelis or Pleurothallis is easier in baskets than pots as the compost says in good condition for longer and the plants can form a natural ball rather than growing out of their pot.

The plant lost a couple of leaves in the hot weather earlier in the summer but is now in full growth and flower.



Coelogyne schultesii – 365 days of orchids – day 965

There are always Coelogynes flowering in the school greenhouse and this species always flowers during the summer holiday.

This unusual Coelogyne species has a wonderful habit of flowering for several years from each flower spike, a habit it shares with a small number of other species from section prolifera.

After flowering the flower spikes take a ten month rest before extending again for the next year’s flowers. The longest we have had is four years of flowering from one stem.

We have seen this species in forest above Gangtok in Sikkim, and Kalimpong in West Bengal, where it grows in cool, wet, evergreen, monsoon forest on mossy trunks and branches.

To match this habitat we grow the species in our Cool Asia section (minimum 10C) and keep it well watered throughout the year and remember not to cut off the flower spikes.


Stelis polyantha – 365 days of orchids – day 964

Yesterday’s Pleurothallis gracillima has lots of small flowers but is out flowered by this species from Ecuador which has masses of really tiny flowers that give a great display.

The exquisite spikes of tiny pinky brown flowers really need a magnifying glass to be appreciated and really demonstrate the beauty of small flowered orchids.

Stelis polyantha is a small flowered species from Ecuador where it is found in cloud forest at around 3000m. The small size of the flowers is made up for in the number of flowers per spike and the number of spikes produces that give a pinky ‘cloud’ around the plant when in flower. We grow the species mounted and in baskets in our Cool Americas section and keep plants well watered all year.


Pleurothallis gracillima – 365 days of orchids – day 963

This is a species we have lots of plants of and this week they are all flowering with masses of little yellow and pink flowers.

The species is a great example of a ‘miniature’ orchid that can grow into a specimen. Plants flower well as tiny plants in 3cm pots or mounted but if left for long enough it forms a ball that is covered in its delicate sprays of flowers.

This species of Pleurothallis is native to the cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador. It is another from the Specklinia section and is a small growing species that produces masses of flower in the summer but can produce the odd spike at any time in addition.

We find it grows well mounted or in pots and baskets. We grow the species in Cool Americas with lots of water especially in the summer when it is in most active growth.


Aerangis arachnopus – 365 days of orchids – day 962

This Aerangis species comes from Central Africa where it grows in evergreen forest from 400-1000m. This indicates that the species enjoys warm shaded conditions and so we grow it in Warm Asia with additional shade in the summer. We made the mistake earlier in the year of hanging it in a bright spot with full sun and the result was burn on the newer leaves.

In common with most Aerangis species is this plant is pollinated by moths and has a long spur containing nectar showing a specialist relationship with long tongued Hawk Moths.