Masdevallia triangularis – 365 days of orchids – day 1464

It is Masdevallia Monday this Bank Holiday in the greenhouse. Masdevallia triangularis has just opened to greet other species including M. veitchiana, M. mystica, M. guyanensis, M.garciae, M. decumana and others (photos below)

It is pretty obvious that most masdevallia are decidedly triangular in nature and it is unclear why todays species has been singled out, although some clones are more triangular than our one – which looks more like the Star Trek insignia than a triangle!

…but why not explore space with a masdevallia as your mascot?

Masdevallia triangularis is a striking small plant with relatively large flowers that are kind of triangular. The flower has lovely red/orange spots and long straight, dark red tails.

The species comes from Venuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and with such a wide distribution it is not surprising that the species is quite variable with colours from yellow through to dark orange.



Prosthechea calmaria – 365 days of orchids – day 1463

This is our smallest Prosthechea species with pseudobulbs 5cm tall, fine leaves and delicate flowers mostly in pairs. The species is native to South America from Brazil to Colombia where it forms mats on trees in warm forests from 200-1400m altitude.

We have tried growing it cool and warm and have found that a shaded spot in our Warm Americas section (min 15C) seems to suit it best. It seems to enjoy baskets as it does have the inconvenient habit of walking our of small pots and growing in the ‘pot next door’


Virtual expedition to Hawaii in January

Thanks to the wonders of Zoom, orchid project students will be in Hawaii next month. On the morning of Monday January 11th, students will gather early at school for a 7am talk to the Hilo Orchid Society with tours of the greenhouse and lab, tales of shows and expeditions. We are very excited to be meeting our friends in Hilo who have made a donation to the Orchid Project for our work in Sarawak, and we hope to make links with schools in Hawaii too.

For those of you reading this post in Hawaii, your talk will be on Sunday 10th January at 9pm – it is almost like time travel talking to the other side of the globe, but we wont need passports, visas, suntan cream, or to self isolate for two weeks after we finish – phew!


Maxillaria schunkeana – 365 days of orchids – day 1462

For boxing day we have another species new to 365 days. Maxillaria schunkeana is an unusual Brazillian species with almost black flowers.

The species is small growing which adds to the appeal and it is native to the forests we know in the Mata Atlanitica from our school visits to Brazil. we find the species is happy warm or cool.