365 days of orchids – day 248 – Cymbidium lancifolium

This is a small growing Cymbidium found across a wide range from the Himalayas t0 Japan and south through South East Asia and Malaysia. It is a terrestrial species in cool evergreen forests from 2000-2300m where it grows in leaf litter and moss.

To reflect its natural habitat we grow the species cool and shaded and keep it damp all year in pots of baskets. The pseudobulbs have a slight climbing habit which makes regular repotting a good idea and as it produces just a couple of thick roots each year these need protecting from slugs and snails as they emerge from the base of the new growth.


365 days of orchids – day 247 – Masdevallia impostor

This is a medium sized masdevallia species with very long lasting large flowers that are produced successively over a very long period from a flower spike. It is not unusual for this orchid to be in flower for eight months of the year.

The flowers are invariably pendulous and so we usually move this plant up onto a shelf when flowering. With such a long flowering period it now lives on that shelf.

The species is found in cloud forests from 1500-1900m in Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador and so plants are very at home in our Cool Americas section.


365 days of orchids – day 246 – Vanda pumila

We have seen this small growing Vanda species in Sikkim growing on roadside trees at around 300-500m altitude alongside Vanda ampulacea (see day 130). It grows in exposed positions in good light and survives the dry season (winter) with its thick leaves and abundant fleshy roots.

We grow this species mounted and keep it wet in summer but give it a cooler dry winter by moving it from Warm Asia to hanging in the roof of Cool Americas.


365 days of orchids – day 245 – Barbosella dusenii

This has to be our orchid with the smallest leaves. As can be seen from the 20p piece the leaves are a few mm long and produced on a creeping rhizome with relatively gigantic flowers produced in a mass in late summer.

We grow the species mounted which it clearly enjoys and avoids the threat of the plant becoming smothered in moss.

The species is native to Brazil where it is found in cloud forests at around 1000m.