This dramatic orchid was one of the first pleurothallis species to arrive in our collection in the early 1990s was Pleurothallis secunda. This is a medium sized plant that each Christmas produces a multitude of short pendulous flower stems that carry up to ten quite large (1.5cm) red and white flowers.
The species is found from Venezuela to Peru on the trunks of trees in wet forest. The habitat provides the key to successful culture where plants are straight forward as long as they are kept moist and shaded. To much sunlight results in the leaves turning pale and developing black blotches so mounted plants, especially, are grown low down.
Plants develop into large clumps and make a great specimen as they flower from new and old leaves together. The plant shown is in a 25cm basket and has more than 50 flower spikes.
In this morning’s post I suggested that we have cattleya species in flower every month of the year and I have been challenged to prove it – so here are images from the posts of 2018:
January – cattleya percivaliana
February – Cattleya trianae
March – Cattleya intermedia
April – Cattleya schroderae
May – Cattleya lobata
June – Cattleya purpurata
July – Cattleya rex
August – Cattleya forbesii
September -Cattleya bicolor
October – Cattleya bowringiana
November – cattleya walkeriana
December – Cattleya coccinea
Why don’t you add some cattleyas to your collection?
We have a Cattleya species in flower every month of the year and this is always a January species.
Many of the uni-foliate (one leaved) Cattleya species look superficially similar but we find that one of the clearest distinctions is flowering time. C. percivaliana is also identifiable by the single sheath, the short (15cm) flattened pseudobulbs, and by the unusual rather deep and circular markings on the lip.
Cattleya percivaliana is endemic to Venezuela where it is found as an epiphyte and on rocks from 1400-2000m altitude in good light. We grow the species in Warm Americas and hang plants in baskets above the door where plants produce copious roots that hang down from the basket.
It is a lovely species with long lasting flowers and a welcome sight in the first week of term.
As promised today’s orchid is Bulbophyllum dolichoglottis and the plant that has become fixed to yesterday’s Bulbophyllum lilacium.
Unlike Bulbophyllum lilacium, that rapidly wraps itself around tree trunks, this is a miniature species with extraordinary flowers that over time forms a mat of tightly packed bulbs with soft grey/green leaves.
It is native to New Guinea where it is reported at 700m altitude. We have seen similar miniature bulbophyllums in Laos and their habit is to spread so that they clothe the lower branches of their host trees.
We grow the species mounted on cork where it multiplies rapidly. We spray it once a day and hang it in a shady spot in Warm Asia where it flowers several times throughout the year.
Thanks for all those who voted in this years poll. This wonderfully fragrant cool growing species from Madagascar won with 26% of the popular vote. The students in charge of our cool asia section will be delighted as it is one of their most prized plants and one that is looking good for an even more impressive display in summer 2019.