WSBEorchids

Masdevallia guayanensis – 365 days of orchids – day 1453

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas …..” Yes a real treat this Christmas is the dreamy white downward facing flowers of this miniature Masdevallia.

Masdevallia guayanensis (despite its name) is found in Venezuela, and northern Brazil as well as Guyana and grows as an epiphyte in moist forest at around 1800m altitude.

The leaves are about 5cm long and over time it forms a tight clump which then produces a profusion of relatively large and rather elegant white flowers. It is rather pendant in its habit and it works really well mounted especially as the stems are dark and contrast really well with the bright green leaves and clear white flowers.

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New grow lights tested by year 10 students

As our orchid seedling production increases we need to find new growing areas for our jars. These new LED strip light grow lights are perfect for providing energy efficient light to the orchids in jars – and thanks to the Year 10 Physics students Chloe, Adam and Frank for setting testing them out ready for fitting tomorrow. We are working on electricity this week and so it was a perfect chance to apply new knowledge for a real electrical application. At the Mendip Studio School the Orchid Project provides lots of real science opportunities for students of all ages.

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Masdevallia pandurilabia – 365 days of orchids – day 1452

This pretty little Masdevallia is a reliable winter flowerer although it produces flowers on and off throughout the year. It is charming both for the little red spots and the cute crossed legged look of the sepaline tails.

Masdevallia pandurilabia is a small growing species native to Peru, where it grows in cloud forest above 2600m altitude loving it cool and moist with good air movement. Some species from similar habitats are a challenge to grow well in a greenhouse, but this species seems to be a vigorous grower and as you can see from the photo on the left produces lovely glossy leaves too. We grow this species in baskets of bark and moss and give it a minimum of 10C.

The flowers are produced in some abundance on long flower spikes. Despite the unusual spots and crossed legs the species gets its name from its lute shaped lip (its actually rather small so a teeny weeny lute).

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Hilo Orchid Society – Our new partners in Hawaii

We are delighted to be working with a new partner – the Hilo Orchid Society in Hawaii.

Students are planning a Zoom talk for the Society in January 2021, the Society has made a generous donation towards future student work in Sarawak, and we are exploring the potential for future student work experience in Hawaii. More news to follow.

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