It is a surprise that we have not featured Restrepia guttulata on 365 days before – this is a wonderfully spotted species – and one we should have included in ‘orange week’
Restrepia guttulata like most restrepias is a cloud forests species enjoying cool, wet conditions. The species is found through the length of the Andes from Venezuela to Peru and altitudes from 1700m to 3000m. As you would expect from the extensive range the species is variable in colour and flower size but is one of the larger members of the genus. To be more specific it has flowers larger than the average restrepia but plants no larger than average and relatively compact making in a great species to grow.
The plant featured here is growing in a basket but the species also succeeds in small pots or mounted on bark. We find that the secret to good culture is lots and lots of water. If a plant becomes really dry it resorts to growing keikis from the top of the stem and base of the leaves.
My snow team volunteers have been looking after the greenhouse again today while I was speaking to the OSGB in Westminster. It was lovely to be so welcomed by OSGB members after a long drive from the snowy west country.
No more snow here but a hard frost so we will have a greenhouse surrounded in snow for a while I think.
This weekends snow has been a little bit of a challenge but it provides a useful background for tiny dark flowers like these of Lepanthopsis astrophora – one of our smallest orchid species.
Lepanthopsis astrophora has leaves less than 1cm long and relatively long spikes of tiny flowers each of which is a perfect purple star (hence the name). The flowers are long lasting and the species is in flower for most of the year.
The species is native to cloud forests in Venezuela and we find it succeeds mounted in a shady spot and sprayed daily. It is a good idea to keep a magnifying glass handy so that visitors can wonder at the lovely little flowers.
What is cold and snowy on the outside and warm and tropical on the inside? – You guessed it – the Writhlington Orchid houses. No school today as we have around a foot of snow lying from 20 hours of pretty much continuous snow from 6pm on Thursday to 2pm today. There was no way to make it to school from Frome so massive thanks to Rosie, Issy, Jess and Gareth who treked through the blizzard to check the greenhouse and water this morning. Photos to follow.