Stelis stevensonii – 365 days of orchids – day 1320

One of our smaller stelis species, and one of the most charming, is this little species that flowers throughout the year but with a main flowering in August and September.

Stelis stevensonii is a vigorous small growing plant that produces multiple spikes of well spaced little flowers typical of the genus.

This species is endemic to Ecuador and lives in wet forests at around 1600m. This is a warmer habitat than some of our species are adapted for making this species less fussy about warm days in the greenhouse, ideal for indoor culture, and an easy plant to grow as long as it is kept well watered and shaded. The plant here is in a 3cm pot.

If you look closely at the flowers with a magnifying glass they have hairy edges to the sepals – an extra bonus for a rewarding orchid species.

We have several plants available at the online shop that will flower this autumn.



Dendrochilum filiforme – 365 days of orchids – day 1319

There are many signs of autumn around – i harvested plums yesterday – and our dendrochilums are a highpoint of autumn in the greenhouse and his species is already in flower.

Dendrochilum filiformne is one of our smaller Dendrochilum species and in common with most of the genus it produces a pendant spike of delicate little fragrant flowers.

The species is native to the Philippines where it grows from 660-2250m altitude. We find that our plant does best cool and damp in our Cool Americas section (yes we know the Philippines isn’t in the Americas) as it enjoys the conditions we provide for our Masdevallias.



Brassavola cuculata – 365 days of orchids – day 1318

This charismatic species always takes me back to the lowland forests of Guatemala where I first saw it growing in the wild and with a warm day in the greenhouse it reallt feels as if I am there. The flowers are always held slightly pendulously, emerging from the newest leaf and held clear of the leaves for pollinating moths.

This terete leaved species is found through Central America and northern South America. In Guatemala we found it growing in dryish lowland forest near the ancient Mayan city of Yaxha. The plant below was flowering on the edge of a small cliff south of Laguna Yaxha attached to a fallen branch.


A nearby tree had been blown horizontal by hurricanes and so hung over the cliff with several seedlings of Brassavola cuculata growing along its trunk.

We find that the species grows best mounted or in baskets of open bark in good light in our Warm Americas section. The species is night scented to suit its moth pollinators.


Epidendrum radicans – 365 days of orchids – day 1317

Yesterday’s Angraecum was a pretty little straggling plant and today’s Epidendrum is another straggly plants but on an altogether granger scale.

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. On the downside, Epidendrum radicans produces lots of roots and these can take over nearby pots.

Epidendrum radicans grows long canes up to 2m long with terminal flower spikes. The flower spikes continue to produce flowers for more than twelve months and at any time they carry 10-15 really attractive flowers that are bright scarlet. The species is butterfly pollinated.

We grow plants in our Cool Americas to replicate the conditions we found in its Costa Rican home.