WSBEorchids

365 days of orchids – day 297 – Pleurothallis loranthophylla

Today’s orchid is the third Pleurothallis in a row – what a fantastic genus. This species produces really pretty flowers in long pendulous spikes and gives a great display.

Pleurothallis loranthophylla is native to wet forests from sea level right up to 2100m and is found from Costa Rica through to South America and as far south as Peru. It produces more roots than many of our Pleurothallis species making it more tolerant of heat and dry periods than many.

The flowers are produced from a dry sheath that forms in the axel of the new leaf but be patient as plants will sit ready to flower for months and then produce a mass of flower when conditions are just right (usually in the autumn for us).

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365 days of orchids – day 296 – Pleurothallis linearifolia

This is a true miniature species native to Brazil and Northern Argentina where it grows in cloud forest. Leaves are only 1cm long but flowers are relatively large and bourn in profusion every autumn.

We find plants do well mounted or in pots and baskets but we need to ensure that plants are not smothered by moss as the species really enjoys cool, wet, shaded conditions which really suits moss!

Despite its tiny size the species grows relatively quickly and can be split to share this lovely plant around. The flowers are also sweetly scented.

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365 days of orchids – day 295 – Pleurothallis tuerckheimii

 

This is one of the most rewarding pleurothallis species we grow and one we think more people should have in their collections. It is a robust species that grows attractive glossy leaves before producing long dramatic spikes of deep red flowers in the autumn. It will produce fantastic specimen plants as well as flowering from small plants. The plant shown on the left is mounted on bark but it grows happily in pots and baskets too.

The natural habitat of the species is damp forests and cloud forests from Mexico to Panama between 700m and 2400m altitude. This broad natural range supports our observation that this is an adaptable and accommodating plant to grow. We have found that the plant does best in deep shade and heat/light stress can cause leaf drop.

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365 days of orchids – day 294 – Ornithophora radicans

This is a warm growing miniature species from Brazil found near the Atlantic coast at around 400m altitude. We find that the species prefers deep shade and will grow cooler than the habitat suggests and so does well in both Warm and Cool Americas.

The plant rapidly multiplies into an attractive ball of thin green leaves and little pseudobulbs and is happy mounted, potted or in a basket. We keep plants watered well throughout the year and are rewarded with the attractive little flower that last a long time.

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365 Days of Orchids-Day 293-Cattleya guttata

              

This orchid is native to Brazil and can be found in Sao Paulo near the coast. It grows as an epiphyte with warm wetter summers and dryer winters. The plant does all its growing with us between April and September and we water and feed heavily during this period. For the rest of the year we keep the plant dryer but never let it shrivel.

It comes into flower in autumn and the blooms last 8 weeks. This species of Cattleya has longer bulbs than any of the other Cattleya’s that we have as the bulbs are a meter long. With two flower spikes each with ten flowers this year, it makes a stately plant. This is the coerulea variety which has a more blue /purple lip and lighter petals than most clones but this photograph taken today makes the lip look a more normal pink colour. We grow this orchid in our Warm Americas section with a minimum of 15 degrees C.

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