365 days of orchids – day 159 – Cattleya purpurata


This wonderful species is the national flower of Brazil (Good choice) . It is found as an epiphyte in open forest up to around 1000m where it experiences a warm wet summer and a cool dryer winter. With us it reliably flowers in June and the greenhouse where we keep the large plants hanging high in Warm America with a minimum temperature of 15C and good light in baskets of large bark which allows lots of air spaces for the thick and abundant roots.

We have several clones of this species and a check on the internet shows that there is a fantastic diversity of coloured varieties available. We have also found this a great species to raise from seed as the seedlings are really vigorous and plants usually reach flowering size four years from de-flasking.



365 days of orchids – day 158 – Chysis aurea

Our second Chysis species in 365 days is this glorious species from warm forests in Central and South America. It grows long thick pendulous bulbs each summer and then loses its leaves during the winter before sending out these lovely large flowers on long spikes from the base of the new growths.

We keep the species in a bright spot in Warm Americas with lots of water during the summer but an almost dry winter with just enough water to stop the pseudobulbs from shrivelling.


365 days of orchids – day 157 – Masdevallia coccinea

This extraordinary masdevallia produces masses of large brightly coloured flowers in a range of colours including white, yellow, red and pink. It comes from Colombia and Peru where it grows in cool wet forest up to 3000m altitude.

Its long flower spikes hold the flowers well clear of the leaves and it is humming bird pollinated.


365 days of orchids – day156 – Masdevallia ivanii

Masdevallia ivanii was first decribed in 2006 and is a small growing Masdevallia from Ecuador with large long lasting flowers for the size of the plant. We only have a young plant at present but hope that it will become a specimen over time.

Itis found at around 1500m and so is cool growing but not excessively so. It seems to do well with a minimum of 12C