Thursday, October 14, 2010

Restrepia cuprea

This lovely orchid is from Colombia and is typical of the genus both in plant habit and in form and colorfulness of its flowers.  The growths are approximately 15 cm long with a 6 cm heart-shaped leaf on a stem that is wrapped in flattened bracts.  The flowers appear out of the topmost bracts from the joint of leaf and stem and each growth flowers successively over a long period of time. They are close to 6 cm tall.

The flowers are the typical Restrepia shape with a narrow dorsal (upper) sepal and very thin, spidery petals.  The most prominent parts of the flower are the joined lateral (lower sepals which are a bright coppery orange, to which the name cuprea refers.  The flower, head on, looks like the face of little gnome with the dorsal sepal looking like a tall hat, the column a long nose, the petals two long eyebrows,the lip a long beard and the spots at the top of the lateral sepals two eyes.

Interestingly, Restrepia is on of the few orchids that can be grown from leaf cuttings.  Indeed, new plants will sometimes spontaneously begin to grow at that point on the mother plant.  If the leaf with a bit of stem is placed in moss or something similar a new plant with eventually start from the juncture of leaf and stem.  They seem to do best for me in small pots and are not at all difficult to grow.

No comments:

Post a Comment