365 days of orchids – day 209 – Pleurothallis picta

This is a miniature species widely distributed across South and Central America. The 2mm wide flowers are relatively large for the plant and sprays of up to six flowers all open together.

The plant grows in wet montane forest up to 2100m and so enjoys growing mounted in Cool Americas in shade and with daily watering. Very small species like this do best for us mounted as moss is less likely to out compete the plant than if potted.



365 days of orchids – day 208 – Pelatantheria insectifera

This species has grows as a climbing stem with alternate 4cm leaves and these interesting flowers produced from the stem.

Pelatantheria insectifera is native to lowland forest in the Himalayas and South East Asia and we find it enjoys warm temperatures and drying out between waterings. The thick fleshy water storing roots indicate a dryish native habitat and the growth habit suits growing the plant mounted.


365 days of orchids – day 207 – Odontoglossum crocidipterum (Oncidium crocidipterum)

Odontoglossum crocidipterum is a cool growing species native to wet montane forests above 2200m from Venezuela to Peru where it grows as an epiphyte in evergreen trees.

The short sprays produce relatively large flowers and a well grown bulb will usually produce two spikes with up to six flowers on each spike. This plant is a recent devision but these flowers from a small bulb shows the floriferous nature of the species.

For us the plant does best in well watered baskets which become mossy with time. In common with all Odontoglossums this species has recently been moved to the genus Oncidium.



365 days of orchids – day 206 – Odontoglossum uroskinneri (Rhynchostele uroskinneri)

This is a a dramatic species native to Central America that produces flower spikes up to 1m long that produces large flowers that open a few at a time over a long period. The flowers are 6cm across and long lasting and sweetly fragrant.

The species is named after an Englishman George Ure Skinner who was an orchid hunter and collector in Guatemala in the early 1800’s and who’s name is attached to the national flower of Guatemala – Lycaste skinneri and the national flower of Costa Rica – Guarianthe skinneri.

The species is reported as restricted to cool wet evergreen mountain scrub forest around 2000m altitude where it grows as a terrestrial or lithophyte in organic mater. The plant grows large pseudobulbs to support the large flower spikes. We find that the species enjoys growing in large baskets in a shaded spot in Cool Americas where we can keep it well watered though out the year. The current flower spikes should still be in flower at Christmas.


365 days of orchids – day 205 – Cattleya forbesii

Cattleya forbesii is a smaller growing bi-foliate (two leaved) Cattleya that comes from Brazil. It is found as a lithophyte or epiphyte in coastal forest in the Mata Atlantica – a habitat that has largely disappeared in the past 200 years. It therefore enjoys being warm and bright but given plenty of water during the summer growing season.

The flowers are quite variable in shades of green, yellow and brown and are around 7cm across but are very attractive and well grown plants can produce six flowers per spike.