Porroglossum is a genus of miniature orchids all of which have spring-loaded moveable, insect-trapping lips. When the flower is disturbed by a visiting insect, the lip springs up trapping the insect against the column and hopefully effecting pollination. The genus is related to Masdevallia and includes about 50 species.
This small plant is Porroglossum tripollex from Ecuador. I have two of these, one with brown "tails" and this with yellow. The flower looks to me like a bird's beak, but tripollex means "three thumbs," a resemblance I do not see. It is cool to cold growing and comes from montane forests.
In these photos the flowers all have their insect-trapping lips in the open position, except for several flower in the picture of the plant and the upper flower in the largest picture. The plant is difficult to photograph with the lips open because the slightest disturbance cause the lips to snap shot.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
A true miniature, this little Pleurothallid is only 3 cm tall with 1.5 cm flowers. Dryadella cristata is from Colombia and blooms in the winter here. The genus, Dryadella, was separated from Masdevallia and contains approximately 30 species. In the case of this species the name of this plant refers to the crested petals, visible as blackish-purple bits in the center of the flowers. The flowers are not very long-lasting and I grow it mounted on a piece of ceder shingle.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Canidentis means "dog's tooth" and the name in this case refers to the shape of the petals. Acronia or Pleurothallis canidentis is from Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia and is only 12cm tall with 2cm flowers, which are produced one at a time from the sheath at the base of the heart-shaped leaf. The unusual colors and size of the flowers make it a desirable species, but it is cool-cold growing, coming from higher elevations and does not seem to tolerate warmer temperatures very well.
Monday, February 10, 2014
I grow mostly miniature species, but have a few Paphiopedilums, Phalaenopsis and Cattleyas that I grow on windowsills and this is one of them, a hybrid of Laeliocattleya Culminant and the tiny red species, Sophronitis coccinea. It blooms faithfully every spring and is one I raised from a very small seedling.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Masdevallia sotoana is from Ecuador and is a tiny species in the Saltatrices section of the genus. The plant is only 4cm tall and the flowers, produced in profusion in winter, are 1.5cm from tip to tip. The plant is cool growing and thrives for me in live sphagnum in a small net pot. This particular plant was awarded a Certificate of Botanical Recognition (CBR) by the American Orchid Society a year or two ago.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Here is another of the few Cattleya-type hybrids I grow, Sophrolaeliocattleya Dream Catcher, a hybrid of Sophrolaeliocattleya Bright Angel and Sophrocattleya Beaufort. I have two of these and one blooms orange, the other red. This is the red-flowered plant, though I've included a picture of the flowers from the other plant as well.