365 days of orchids – day 46 – Restrepia muscifera

Yesterday we had Restrepia trichoglossa and today we have another Restrepia to highlight the great diversity there is in the genus. Restepia muscifera is a much larger and broader flower than Restrepia trichoglossa and our clone is a wonderful strong pink colour. This plant is larger growing than Restrepia trichoglossa with the dark green leaf + stalk reaching 20cm.

The species is variable and is found through Central America, Colombia and Ecuador.

We could have a whole week of Restrepia species (we have thirteen species in flower today) but as they repeat flower throughout the year we will save the rest for later posts.


365 days of orchids – day 45 – Restrepia trichogossa

Restrepia trichoglossa is one of our smallest growing restrepias and one of the most rewarding. The species which comes from Central America produces tough little leaves on short stems that over time make bushy plants no more than 6cm high. Flowers are produced several times each year from the base of the leaf and every now and then a profusion of flowers are produced together.

The flowers themselves are a delight with spots, stripes and long thin petals. Plants propagate well and we have had reports of many people succeeding with this species  in a shaded spot on their windowsill.

We grow restrepias in our Cool Americas section and find they do well in pots, small baskets and mounted on cork bark. Propagation is by splitting larger clumps or by cutting off a leaf and stem and burying it up to just above the base of the leaf. A new plant will develop from the base of the leaf.


365 days of orchids – day 44 –Sarcochilus aequalis

This species is another of our Australian species and comes from New South Wales where it is known as the boulder orchid. This is due to its preferred habitat being rocks, boulders and cliff faces in forested areas where it is found from 400m to 1400m altitude.

It is a cool growing species that produces a mass of roots. Flower stems come  from the mass of growths that develop over time.


365 days of orchids – day 43 – Gongora grossa

This is a spectacular relatively large flowered Gongora with a powerful spicy scent and lovely red spots on a pale background. It also has particularly long horns protruding down from the lip.

Gongora grossa comes from wet evergreen lowland forest and Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador and the species seems to relish life in our Warm Asia section with a winter minimum of 16C. We grow the plants in baskets and water them frequently to keep the compost moist but do not worry if the humidity falls in the heat of the day.