365 days of orchids – day 265 – Lepanthopsis prolifera

Just 100 days to go! This tiny flowered species which is endemic to North Eastern Colombia arrived in the school greenhouses as a ‘weed’ on Pleurothallis sclerophylla and has since expanded into a ball and produced many offspring.

The flowers are produced in sprays on a 1cm spike and usually line up back to back so that flowers look two ways. The plant is in flower for much of the year but I am sorry to say we often forget it because the flowers are so small.

From our experience this miniature is easy to grow mounted when kept cool and wet.

(You may have noticed that we have skipped from day 263 to day 265 – this is a correction from posting two day 82s)


365 days of orchids – day 263 – Epidendrum radicans

Another orchid species that is always in flower in the greenhouse is Epidendrum radicans. This is a very unruly plant that grows long canes up to 2m long with terminal flower spikes that continue to produce flowers for more than a year.

We have seen the species growing in Costa Rica in wet secondary forest at around 1400m altitude where the plant starts life at or near the ground and then scrambles up through the scrub. It has an interesting habit of developing twisting flower spikes that cling onto surrounding plants both in the wild and in cultivation. The flower spike shown here is well away from the pot it was once in and provides an unexpected and welcome burst of colour amongst neighbouring plants.

The species is butterfly pollinated.


365 days of orchids – day 262 – Bulbophyllum sessile

This small flowered Bulbophyllum species is native to South East Asia and Malaysia. It is a member of the oxysepela section of Bulbophyllum where flowers are unusually produced from the rhizome between the small pseudobulbs. The small flowers are produced in profusion giving a very attractive plant.

The plant grows high in evergreen trees at around 1000m and we find it prefers to grow quite cool and the plant shown is growing in Cool Americas where it seems much happier than where it previously lived in Warm Asia. The plant is quite straggly with its long rhizome but seems keen to wrap itself around its mount and so will be very neat in the long run as it develops into a ball of fleshy light green leaves and rhizomes covered in flowers every autumn.


365 days of orchids – day 261 – Pleurothallis sonderana

Another mini miniature species is Pleurothallis sonderana. The species is endemic to Southern Brazil where it grows as an epiphyte in cool moist forest.

We find Pleurothallis sonderana is a vigorous plant that forms a great little specimen and can be easily propagated by division. We always grow the species mounted and the plant shown has completely covered its 3cm x 4cm cork mount.

We grow plants shaded in Cool Americas and spray it daily.