January 2020

Show and Tell


From Scott McGregor:


Bulbophyllum rothschildianum 'Adoribil'

Bulbophyllum Elizabeth Ann 'Buckleberry'
(Bulb. rothschildianum x Bulb logissimum)

An “interesting” Bulbophyllum that reliably blooms for me in December, and easily grows into a specimen if mounted.  It is the parent of Bulbophyllum Elizabeth Ann "Buckleberry" FCC/AOS (rothschildianum X longissimum), which even though I’m a species fan, prefer to either parent.  A pic of that from last Thanksgiving as well.  But then why choose, grow both!

Bulbophyllum mirum

This relatively easy-to-grow Bulbophyllum has truly unusual flowers.  They have a protruding lower part, a helmet on top and little white protruding filaments that flutter in the slightest breeze, probably to attract the attention of pollinators.

Cattleya (Sophronitis) brevipedunculata

My favorite Sophronitis-- pretty flowers with good form, blooms reliably every year, stays compact, likes to be mounted and grows well outside.

Porroglossum meridionale

A cute mini with half-inch flowers that blooms sequentially on the same spikes.  The floral lip in this genus has the interesting property of snapping shut, sort of like a Venus flytrap, to entrap a pollinator for about 30 minutes, after which it reopens.  Best grown outside with even moisture, cool temperatures and good water.


Above left 2/5/2016

Right 1/9/2019

Below left 12/30/2019

Laelia anceps var. lineata

This form of Laelia anceps has an unusual and unpredictable peloric color-streaking in the petals, and often varies from flower to flower and from year to year.  Here is a bloom from this December, one back about a year ago in January, and from 2016, all the same plant.  You might buy one in bloom that looks a certain way, but the next year, it is completely different…

Laelia gouldiana

Fully saturated color to brighten up a winter orchid collection, even if a bit rain-spotted!  Easy to grow and flower, and blooms earlier than most L. anceps.


Pleurothallis leptotifolia

A mat-forming mini with lots of yellow-green grass-scented flowers.

Laelia superbiens

A big plant with a dramatic ball of flowers on the end of a long scape.  Not a good one for a small space!

Pleurothallis dilemma

Some of the ugliest orchid plants have the most beautiful flowers.  This one is the other way around.  The “string-bean with horns” leaves are held up on long thin stems from the base, with flowers appearing at various times over the year.

Dendrochillum saccolabium

An easy outdoor grower and reliable bloomer, with arching chains of long-lasting red flowers.



Isabelia (Neolauchea) pulchella

Isabellia is a small genus of only three miniature species and if you grow orchids outside, you should grow all three as they each have their charms.  They are easy to grow, are best mounted, and prefer even moisture, good water and bright light.  Usually you’ll see plants for sale with a dozen or so growths, but this specimen plant has many hundreds or perhaps a thousand growths, and it doubles every two years or so.  It was originally grown in a 3” clay pot, and you can see the upended remains of that at the very top as the plant has spilled out and grown into a ball, without any potting media at all.  The picture on the right is a close-up of a section, only about 2/3 of the flowers are open.

Here, after a sunny day, most flowers are open.



From Roberta Fox:


Outside in the Back Yard:

Laelia anceps

These are now blooming like crazy. In general, I'm seeing flowers smaller than in past years - probably attributed to the cool summer. Here are some distinctive varieties.

'Sanbar Ruby' - a very dark form

f. alba (no red pigment at all)

var. hillii - mostly white, soft lavender patch on the lip

f. lineata 'Disciplinata' - two bloomings of another example of this dramatic form. Color looks like it was brushed on, pulling part of the petal on the "brush", with bright yellow throat.

Laelia autumnalis

A close relative of L. anceps, blooming at the same time of year.

Cattleya percivaliana 'Orchid Ranch'

The last of my C. percivaliana plants to bloom, this one has a larger flower than the others, with excellent form.

Laelia albida 'Blue Boy'

This one is a bit peloric, with splashes of the dark lip color on the tips of the petals and sepals.

Pteroceras semiteretifolium

A miniature Vandaceous orchid. I have grown this both in the greenouse and outside... it does better outside.

Maxillaria lehmanii

One of the larger-flowered Maxillarias. Flowers have heavy substance. Last month there was only one flower open, but it stayed and the rest opened, making a dramatic display so I had to show it again.

Angraecum germinyanum

Distinctive flower shape is a nice variation on the "white Angraecoid" theme.

Bulbophyllum brevibrachiatum

Small, but dramatic flowers on this cool-growing Bulbophyllum Grow it shady and damp. It blooms several times a year.

Gastrochilus somai

Epidendrum (Nanodes) porpax

A very easy, mat-forming species. It has undergone many classification changes. It's now back to Epidendrum, but now it's Epi. peperomia. I just point at it and say , "Hey, YOU...

Epigeneium clemensiae (Dendrobium mariae)

Epigeneium is a genus that is in and out of Dendrobium. If it's Dendrobium, it needed renaming because of confilct with an existing name. It will probably go back to being a separate genus.


Dendrobium strongylanthum

The many-flowered inflorescences are produced as the plant loses leaves for the winter. I don't particularly dry it out, but being mounted it dries rapidly and that seems to be enough for it to bloom.

Ceratostylis sp. aff. backerii

I got this from a society plant table, not in bloom, and the photo from Andy's website was not particularly in focus so it was an unknown. I watched carefully to not miss these cute 1/8 inch flowers.


Dracula roezlii

The cool weather has inspred this Dracula to bloom especially well. It is a challenge to photograph - the very dark color is lost on a black background, but other backgrounds can produce distracting shadows and since it must be viewed from below, hard to position. I think I finally got it...With any back-lighting it appears burgundy, but with more even natural light, it is almost black. There are more buds - if the weather holds, the show will go on for another month or so.

Isochilus sp. (Colombia)

Andy now thinks that it might be a form of Isochilus major, but isn't certain. It blooms very reliably. The flowers seem to self-pollinate, so after blooming it needs a good trimming.

Cochlioda vulcanica

Having lost this one in the past, I conclude that RO water is what it needs. It produces several inflorescences that open in sequence, so it stays in bloom for 6-8 weeks.


Dendrochilum magnum

Greenhouse-grown plants bloomed several months ago, but I have found that my outdoor-growing one is always later. Also, the color is highly variable - in warmer weather it has bloomed much darker. However, the inflorescences do darken as they age. On the right, the first photo is newly opened, the one on the left is older.

Polycycnis muscifera

I don't usually show plants that I haven't grown and flowered, since I try to give insights on what works for me. For this one, I make an exception - I obtained it in spike. When the flowers opened, they were so intriguing that I want to share. It was grown warm, but my research indicates that it comes from a wide elevation range. It'll stay in the greenhouse until spring, but then I'll see what it does outside, when it can gently acclimate. It'll go back into the greenhouse if it starts to look distressed, but I have to suspect that it can grow cooler.


In the greenhouse...

Bulbuphylum medusae

Dozens (if not more) individual flowers make a beautiful, delicate display.


Cyrtorchis chailluana

The slightly wavy leaves add to the charm of this small Angraecoiid


Maxillaria richii

This did a flush bloom a couple of months ago, and this month did it again. I repotted it in fresh sphagnum a couple years ago, and ti responded with lots of new growth, and invogorated blooming.