Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saltatrices Masdevallias

The Saltatrices group of Masdevallias are especially desirable and attractive, at least to me.  They are small plants, the flowers are almost all brightly colored, and most of them are easy to grow and profuse bloomers, if given the right conditions, cool temperatures and good humidity.

They are distinguished to the casual eye by their more or less tubular shape, by a kind of "belly" or bulge at the base of the sepaline tube, and by the glandular hairs that line the inside of the flower.  Their bright colors, reds, oranges and yellows are also often an indication of their relation to this group.

Masdevallia hirtzii

Masdevallia ampullacea

Masdevallia eurynogaster

Masdevallia strobelii

Masdevallia constricta

Masdevallia fuchsii

Masdevallia filaria

Masdevallia mendozae

Masdevallia sotoana

Masdevallia filaria (pale form)

Masdevallia angulifera flava

Masdevallia limax


  1. It is a pleasure to visit his blog Ron. Wonderful group of Masdevallias!!

    1. Thank you for visiting, Antonio, and for your nice comments. These are my favorite Masdevallias and I am always looking for other species.

  2. Hi Ron - Can you please recommend some Masdevallia species that you believe might be capable of thriving in the 60-80 temp range and 500-2000 footcandles?

    I'm a vivarium grower, and I'm always looking for showy miniatures to try out. I tend to have more success with Orchid species from Ecuador, which I believe is due to the constant light cycle in the vivarium. Thanks!!!

    1. Ryan, I would think you could grow most Masdevallias if you are growing in that temperature range and in a vivarium, that is, if you do not have constant temperatures of 80 at certain times of the year. I am curious whether 60-80 means a constant day-night temperature of 80 at certain times of the years. If so you are going to have to grow only warm-temperature Masdevallias. Really need a bit more information on your temperature range, therefore.

    2. Ron - thank you for your response! My spring/summer temps are tend to be high 70s during the day and about 70 at night. My fall/winter temps tend to be low 70s during the day and about 60 at night. My set ups tend to be high moisture (via misting system), relative high light (using LEDs with each planting spot tested with a PAR meter), and high airflow (I build internal air ducts that constantly push new air into the enclosure).

      The last one I built actually has a cooling system built in, which I haven't tested yet. It's just getting hot enough now where it's worth giving it a shot and see how it performs. It basically centers around the cold side of a peltier chip being isolated in the in-flow air duct, controlled by a mini thermostat - kind of like a mini air conditioner. If it works, I should have a little more temp control.

    3. Sounds like quite a set-up, Ryan. It sounds to me that if the cooling system works you should be able to grow almost any Masdevallias. Otherwise I'd recommend some hybrids (they're always more temperature tolerant), or if you are not into hybrids, some of the following species: angulata, bicolor, brachyura, chontalensis, echo, erinacea, floribunda, guttulata, herradurae, infracta, minuta, nidifica, peristeria, picturata, polysticta, pumila, rolfeana, striatella, tovarensis, weberbaueri. These all require temperatures that are somewhat warmer and are considered easier to grow.

    4. Thank you for the recommendations! These days, I'm experimenting more with the showier species to see if any will thrive. I'm finding certain species to be more temperature tolerant once I balance the light level and moisture properly and I'm really hoping there is a hidden temp tolerant gem in Masdevallia.

      What do you think my would be with M. contricta or fuchsii in particular? I noticed Ecuagenera lists these ones as in the intermediate temp range.

      Thank you again for the advice! Your blog a is real inspiration. Seeing how many species you are having success with using artificial lighting is just amazing

    5. Thanks for the kind comments, Ryan. Humidity and air movement are as important as temperature with Masdevallias. As to constricta and fuchsii, I find the former easier than the latter and would give certainly give constricta a try, perhaps both. My temperatures, especially in the summer are more in the intermediate range and both species do well for me.