Thursday, December 25, 2014

Masdevallia mystica

Masdevallia mystica belongs to the Saltatrices group of Masdevallias.  The species in this group have bright colors, tubular flowers and "bellies," a noticeable bulge at the base of the flower.  This "species" is from Ecuador, but is probably a natural hybrid of Masdevallia filaria and Masdevallia ventricularia, two other species in this group.  The plant is 10 cm tall and the flowers are surprisingly small, only a little over 2 cm.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Trisetella triglochin

This is one of the more common Trisetella species, if it is identified correctly.  I've found that most of the plants in this genus I purchase are misidentified.  Trisetella triglochin, also found under the name Trisetella huebneri is found both in southern Central America and northern South America.  It is extremely variable in flower shape and color.  This plant is only 3 cm tall with flowers that are also 3 cm in size and are produced on very thin 5 cm spikes that produce several flowers in succession.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dendrobium alaticaulinum

Dendrobium alaticaulinum is a New Guinea Dendrobium from the Pedilonum section of that genus.  Most of the New Guinea Dendrobiums I grow are from the Oxyglossum section.  The Pedilonum Dendrobiums tend to be large plants with long semi-pendant canes, but this species is very small in comparison, the canes around 15 cm.  The 2 cm flowers bloom at the end of the canes in clusters and do not open very widely.  The plant is not a very eager bloomer for me, but since I reduced the light a bit it has bloomed a bit more freely.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Stelis ciliolata 'Leia'

Native to Ecuador, this plant is found at higher elevations and requires cool temperatures in cultivation.  Its name, ciliolata, refers to the striking white "hairs" that fringe the sepals.  The plant is 12 cm tall with flower spikes that grow to about 20 cm.  The spikes carry 15 or more 1.5 cm flowers, several of which may be open at a time, and the spikes bloom over a long period.  The plant, as a result, is seldom out of bloom.  This plant has been awarded a certificate of cultural merit by the American Orchid Society.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Mediocalcar decoratum

One of my favorite miniature orchids, this plant produces hundreds of flowers in autumn.  The individual growths are less than 2 cm, each a fat little stem with three of four propeller-like leaves.  They grow from the top of the previous stem, however and ramble all over producing a mat of growths that soon covers a mount or spills over the edges of a pot.  The tiny, less than 1 cm, orange and yellow flowers are colored like candy corns and look like a little balloon that has exploded on one end.  The species is from Papua New Guinea and prefers cool temperatures and high humidity with good light.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Trisetella klingeri

I am not sure of the identification of this species  It was supposed to be Trisetella sororia, which it most definitely is not.  It may be Trisetella klingeri, from Ecuador, but it may also be just a form of the variable and widespread Trisetella triglochin.  The plant is tiny, like most Trisetellas, only about 3-4 cm tall, and the flowers, born on 6 cm spikes are about 1 cm in size.  By any name, however, it is a cute miniature, and worthy of a place in any collection of miniature orchids.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dendrobium agathodaemonis

Dendrobium agathodaemonis is considered by some to be a synonym of Dendrobium cuthbertsonii.  To me, however, there are obvious differences, though they may not warrant species status.  Even though the flowers are of the same shape and size as Dendrobium cuthbertsonii, they lack the dark markings on the lip and have growths that are much thinner.  Both of these features are obvious in the following photos.  Like its near relative it is a prolific bloomer when grown well and has flowers that last many months.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Trisetella regia

Trisetella regia is, relatively speaking, the giant of the genus, and well-named regia or "regal."  Most of the plants in the genus are tiny, only a few centimeters tall, with small flowers (1.5-2 cm) on short flower spikes.  This species is 7 cm tall with long 20 cm flower spikes and 4 cm flowers.  The flowers are typical in shape and color for the genus and have the long "tails" for which the genus is named.  Their obvious resemblance to Masdevallias had them classified as Masdevallias at one time.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Paphiopedilum sukhakulii

This is the same plant and the same blooming that I posted a couple of weeks ago, but this time photographed on black or dark blue.  As I mentioned in the previous post, this plant always produces two flowers for me.  The species is from Thailand, is one of the smaller Paphiopedilums and has beautifully patterned leaves.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Trichosalpinx vasquezii

I didn't even have a country of origin for this one when I posted this.  If I remember it was given me and all that was obvious was that it belonged to the genus Trichosalpinx, a genus of plants related to Pleurothallis.  Since posting the pictures, however, the species has been identified by Wiel Driessen with the help of Chad Lees, who sent him the link.  It is Trichosalpinx vasquezii from Bolivia, a very rare species.  The flowers are tiny, just a few millimeters, and are held against the bottom of the leaf and are not visible unless the plant is turned upside down.  The plant is 15 cm tall.