January 2021

From Jan Hennessey:



Cattleya percivaliana

Found in the Venezuelan Andes although I've grown it in the greenhouse. Easy to grow here in OC. Known as the Christmas orchid, I love the lip colors.

Isabelia pulchella

So cute. Someday I'll have more flowers. Native of Brazil, loves the cool high humid mountains. It's a creeping orchid, likes strong breezes, no afternoon sun and prefers water once a day in summer with no winter rest.

Paphiopedilum insigne 'Harefield Hall' AM/AOS

A notable large clone, could be autotriploid so it is said. Ive had it for many, many years, was a prized possession of Ed Wise who gave me a division.

Epidendrum porpax


Another creeper, succulent type,. I've had 2, the pot grown slowly died. Native to Columbia and Venezuela, one of my favorites. likes bright light, moist but dry in between watering. A favorite.


From Lynn Wiand:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California

Epidendrum paniculatum

Species from Ecuador, originally from Cal Orchid


From Scott McGregor:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California

Barbosella dusenii

A creeping mini that slowly covers its mount and has tiny greenish flowers.  Looks almost as nice out of bloom as in bloom :-)

Cleisocentron gokusingii

Just like Roberta’s from last month, the cool weather seems to bring out the blue in Cleisocentron gokusingii since it last bloomed in July.

Isabelia (Neolauchea) pulchella

Specimen from Brazil.  Growing on just an upside-down 2” pot.

 Pleurothallis dilemma

This species is a “must” for any Pleurothallid fan.  The flowers are unspectacular, but the plant has a unique look with horned green-bean leaves and a flower 2/3 up.  Pics include a flower closeup, a side profile of the leaf/flower and a pic showing the maturity stages of the leaves.  Fairly tolerant and easy to grow.

Restrepia antennifera 'Type A'

A large-flowered (for a Restrepia) species from Columbia, that comes in spotted and striped-lip  variants.

Neobenthamia gracilis

I used to grow Neobenthamia gracilis in my shade house in a pot with some bark and got some occasional reluctant flowers over the years, having read this culture note on “a hot to warm growing lithophytic or terrestrial species requiring a bark mix in a pot”.  I assumed I wasn’t giving it the warmth it needed.  For the last year, I changed the culture to the following: large pot, terrestrial mix, full sun, on the patio.  As a result, my plant has quadrupled in size with lots of new shoots and has been continuously in flower since July on the first spike and new spikes are just beginning to open.  The clover-like head of fragrant flowers opens new buds as the old ones fade, and keeps the “flower ball” shape for at least half a year.  I highly recommend this as a patio orchid that needs little care or attention.

Laelia anceps var. veitchiana



From Roberta Fox:


Outside in the Back Yard:


Laelia anceps

This is turning out to be a great year for L. anceps. The season started in November, and looks like I'll have some opening through January. Above is L. anceps f. lineata 'Disciplinata'. To me the dark striping on the petals looks brushed on, with the "brush" pulling the color beyond the edge of the petals. To the right is L. anceps f. hillii, with crystalline white flowers and a delicate lavender patch on the lip and its side lobes.


Pleurothalis cardiothallis

A nice flush bloom. Individual flowers don't last long, but more are produced in sequence.

Pelatantheria insectifera

A $7.50 special that has grown quite well. It is a Vandaceous rambler, wrapping itself around a tree-fern log. I have found that it does best with fairly strong morning sun, then some shading through the rest of the day.

Epidendrum quisayanum

Small flowers but lots of them, and lots of color. After growths bloom, they die back, so over time the plant starts to look quite ragged. After a good cleanup, it took a couple of years to get back to a good density of blooming growths.


Coelia bella

New growth develops at the outer edges of the plant, so keeping in the pot is somewhat of a challenge.

Paphiopedilum gratrixianum 'Old Mill'

This particular plant has excellent vigor. The first time that I have had three flowers at the same time.

Vanda coerulea

The species has a wide range of color, from almost white to very dark lavender. This one is in the middle of the color range. Ron Kaufmann has pointed out that the twist of the petals is characteristic of the species. If you have one with flat petals (classic Vanda form) it is likely a hybrid. The species is native to a wide range of southeast Asia, at elevations from about 900 to 1500 m, so has considerable cold tolerance.

Epidendrum purum

The tag says "warm" but it actually comes from a wide range of elevations in Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. It does fine outside. The pristine white flowers are sweetly fragrant, especially in the afternoon and evening.

Pleurothallis radula

These perky little flowers emerge repeatedly from the same area sticking up from the leaf.

Dendrobium strogylanthum

Individual flowers are about an inch. The brush-like inflorescences emerge from bare canes. I don't particularly dry it out in the winter, but since it is mounted, it dries rapidly after watering.

Maxillaria elatior

Flowers with heavy subtance emerge from between the leaves. This species tends to be a climber. Like with other Maxillarias with this habit, it's important not to remove the brown bracts at the base of the pseudobulbs, since they protect an elaborate system of roots .

In the greenhouse...


Angraecum leonis

Thick, succulent leaves are arranged in a fan. Flower is fragrant at night. The spur has an intriguing twist.

Ascocentrum garayi

Closely related to Ascocentrum miniatum. It possibly could grow outside, it grew in an unheated greenhouse at Pat Rowland's in Garden Grove so it got a little bit of protection from cold. My coastal climate is a little more temperate than inland, but it does respond well to the extra warmth that it gets in the greenhouse.

Dendrobium (Epigeneium) treacherianum

Flowers have heavy substance, and are large for the genus. I have seen photos of specimen plants - this one has a way to go, but this is the first time that it has bloomed in my care. Epigeneium is related to Dendrobium, and has been lumped into that very large genus. To me, it's quite different, I'm not changing my tags.


Ancistrochilus rothschildianus

The species is native to a wide area of west and cenral Africa at a range of elevations. It is related to Calanthe. With the size of its range, it is very possible that it could grow outside. If I had two of them I'd experiment... but this one is doing nicely in the greenhouse and I don't want to take any chances with it.

Polycycnis muscifera

Native to Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru, from elevations of around 1000 m, so marginal with respect to cold-tolerance. I acquired another plant of this species at a San Diego County Orchid Society Conservation Committee sale, that had been grown outside. It had gone completely deciduous... as the summer progressed, a new growth developed, but as nights became cooler in the fall, it seemed to stall so it moved into the greenhouse where it started to grow rapidly. Conclusion... it's better off on the warm side.

Maxillaria scalariformis

Andy Phillips grows this outside very successfully in Encinitas, but I have had several of them die of crown rot during the winter. I have not been able to figure out what is different about where he grows them and the environment in my yard. It is native to fairly low elevations in Panema, so I move it to the greenouse for the winter and both of these plants have grown very well that way. They spend spring, summer and fall outside, and bloom better than when kept in the greenhouse all the time. This flush bloom occurred about a month after moving to the greenhouse.