365 days of orchids – day 615 – Prosthechea kautskyi

This is a first appearance in 365 days for one of the smaller growing of our prosthechea species.

This species is native to Brazil where it grows in the coastal forests of the Mata Atlantica. We have seen similar species in Brazil clothing the thick lower branches of trees and this species has a spreading habit with its little sprays of non-resupinate (upside down) flowers clear of the leaves for passing pollinators which would be butterflies.

We have tried the species in several sections of the greenhouse as we have found very little information about it and find that it prefers to grow warm and shaded with the free draining conditions provided by a basket.


365 days of orchids – day 614 – Dendrochilum abbreviatum

We are delighted to have a range of dendrochilum species in our collection and one of the most attractive is this species from Java.

Plants grow in montane forests from 700-2000m and so should not be too fussy about temperature. We find the species does best in our Warm Asia section with a minimum of 17C where we keep plants shaded all year and well watered.

Next month our dendrochilums will dominate the Warm Asia section with our monster plants of Dendrochilum cobbianum and Dendrochilum magnum so this species flowering has caused lots of excitement amongst our young growers.


365 days of orchids – day 613 – Barbosella dusenii

It is definitely Barbosella time in the Greenhouse  with lots of Barbosella australis in flower (see day 610) and now this lovely minature species coming into flower too. Barbosella dusenii is our orchid with the smallest leaves. 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. We replicate these conditions in Cool Americas by hanging plants low down in the greenhouse and spraying daily with a minimum of 12C.


365 days of orchids – day 612 – Malaxis kobi

A miniature that people enjoyed finding on our display at the Bristol University Botanic Gardens was this miniature terrestrial.

Malaxis kobi is endemic to Java where it is found as a terrestrial in evergreen forests from 900-2100m and so is a species that likes to grow cool, damp and shaded. A terrestrial grows in the ground but in this habitat the ground is more leaf litter than soil and so we pot the species in moss and bark similar to our epiphytic damp loving species.

Although the species is Asian we find it does best amongst our masdevallias in our Cool Americas Section.


365 days of orchids – day 612 – Masdevallia wagneriana


This is a small growing masdevallia species with 5cm leaves that produces lots of relatively large flowers which contrast beautifully with the glossy dark green leaves.

The species is endemic to Venezuela where it grows in deep shade in forests from 1100-1800m altitude. We grow this species in a very shaded spot in our Cool Americas section where it seems to flourish.