Saturday, December 26, 2015

Barbosella australis

Barbosella australis is a tiny creeping species with paddle-shaped leaves and large flowers in proportion to the size of the plant.  The leaves are 1.5 cm and the flowers 2 cm.  It blooms for me in the autumn and is easy to grow, always blooming with an abundance of flowers.  The name, australis, refers not to the country of origin - it is from Brazil - but to the fact that it comes from the southern parts of that country.  The flowers are not very showy but are unusually shaped and colored and the genus is related to Masdevallia and Pleurothallis.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dendrobium hippocrepiferum

This unusual species is from New Guinea.  I've just bloomed it for the first time and only one flower, so the photos are limited.  The plant is a mass of thin growths with short fat leaves that remind me of some conifers.  The flowers are less than 1 cm and are held "upside down" in comparison to most orchids, i.e., the lip is uppermost.  Flowers like this that do not twist around before they open and that hold their lip uppermost are called non-resupinate.  The species name, hippocrepiferum, means "horse-shoe carrying" and refers to the horseshoe-shaped and joined sepals (not really visible in these photos).

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Paphiopedilum venustum and venustum album

I recently posted photos of Paphiopedilum venustum var. album and have posted before photos of the normal variety.  Here are the two of them together for comparison.  It is obvious that the album lacks any of the red or purple coloring of the normal variety.  The plants and flowers are very similar in size, but the leaves of the album variety also lack any red or purple coloring.  The species if from Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Masdevallia glandulosa

Masdevallia glandulosa is an orchid species from Ecuador.  Its flowers are unique both on account of the tiny glandular hairs for which the plant is named and on account of their strong clove scent.  The plant will perfume a whole room.  I have several plants clones of this species and this has the largest flowers.  They are 5 cm from tip to tip on a plant that is 10 cm tall.  In my experience the plant prefers to be potted and likes somewhat moister conditions and lower light than other Masdevallias.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Masdevallia hirtzii

Very typical of the section of Masdevallia to which it belongs (Saltatrices) with its brightly colored, tubular flowers, Masdevallia hirtzii is from Ecuador and Peru.  It is a very small plant, only 8 cm tall, and produces an abundance of 4 cm flowers if well grown.  It is supposed to be temperature tolerant but I grow my plant intermediate to cool in sphagnum moss in a net pot.  It blooms faithfully for me every year in late autumn and winter.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sigmatostalix uncinata

Sigmatostalix uncinata, from Ecuador, is a newly described species and is related to Oncidium.  It has in fact recently been included in that genus.  It is a small plant only 12 cm tall and looks like a fan of leaves with a small pseudobulb at the center of the leaves.  It carries several flowers at a time on each flower spike and they continue to produce flowers for several months.  The flowers are 2 cm and have a very prominent column which looks like a bird's head.  The plant seems to do best for me mounted on a small piece of tree fern.  There are around 70 species in the genus which ranges from Mexico to Brazil.