March 2021


From Lynn Wiand:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California

Dendrochilum tenellum

in a 10 inch bowl, growing in moss. It hangs on my patio in Corona Del Mar.

Osmoglossum pulchellum

Native to Mexico. it grows on an 8 inch piece of tree branch, on my patio.

Epidendrum porpax 'Corona del Mar'


This was a tiny division in 1998, now occupies a 24 inch piece of cork.

2 years ago the 4” wood slat basket that was hidden inside the large ball of plant that had surrounded the basket…the wood had rotted away and the plant fell…that is why it is so spaced out. …I remounted it onto the cork and it is slowly filling back in


From Scott McGregor:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California

Himantoglossum robertianum

Himantoglossum robertianum, also known as the “Giant Orchid”, is widespread in the Mediterranean region.  It grows during the winter, flowers early spring and is dormant in the hot/dry summers.  The flower spike is just beginning to open.  The flowers aren’t the most attractive of the European terrestrials, but at least they are nicely fragrant.   I grow this outside in full sun, and it is my first Mediterranean terrestrial to bloom this year.

Dendrochilum wenzelii 'Red Sails'

Colorful red flowers, easy grower, reliable bloomer, attractive plant when not in bloom—what’s not to like about a big pot of Dendrochilum wenzelii!

Isabelia violacea

A colorful mini Cattleya relative from Brazil.  Likes bright light and moisture.  Sadly, the flowers only last a few days.

Isochilus aurantiacus

Here’s a species I struggle with and am delighted to get a small bloom now after a few good years and then five years of the plant malingering and flowerless.  In the last year I’ve given it much more light and water—seems that’s what it wants.  Hard to beat the fully saturated orange color!

Ophrys regis-ferdinandii

My first Ophrys to bloom this season— definitely looks like a bug!

Ophrys lutea

First flower opening on Ophrys lutea.  The “yellow bee orchid” grows widely across the Mediterranean region.  Grown outside in full sun December-March, with dormant/dry summers.

Thelymitra Melon Glow

My first Thely of the seacon. Not all Thelymitras are blue!  This is a primary hybrid Thelymitra Melon Glow (antennifera x luteocilium).  Native to Australia-- winter growing, spring blooming and summer dry/dormant.  I grow this outside in full sun December-March.  These “sun orchid” flowers only open on clear sunny days.

Caladenia Harlequin x applanata ssp. erubescens

Caladenia Harlequin (flava X latifolia) x applanata ssp. erubescens, from Australia, grown outside in full sun December-March, summer dormant/dry. Not species, but any Caladenia is unusual and rare to see!

Caladenias are known as “spider orchids” in Australia and grow a single, hairy leaf from an underground tuber. They are one of the most tricky Mediterranean-climate orchids to grow because they have few or no roots and depend almost entirely on mycorrhiza in the substrate for both water and nutrients. The flowers have long sepals and a colorful complex lip.


From Roberta Fox:


Outside in the Back Yard:

Dinema polybulbon

Native to a wide area from southern Mexico through Central America. It rambles, forming a mat. The flowers are quite fragrant. After its prior mount disintegrated, I put it on this piece of bottlebrush wood abut two years ago, and it has grown enthusiastically since then.

Dendrochilum parvulum

Lots of flower power in a small package. I lost count of the number of spikes. It is a very consistent bloomer this time of year.

Dendrobium rindjaniense

Native to Lobok Island in Indonesia. I can't find much information about it other than being a cool-growing species from fairly high elevations. (Mt Rindjani) The bumpy canes are inriguing. Flowers emerge from the tip of older canes. It grows in a 4 inch plastic basket with loosly-packed sphagnum, so it dries quickly.


Brassia (Ada) aurantiaca

This just keeps getting better, 13 spikes this year. Flowers last 6-8 weeks.

Campanulorchis globifera

Native to Vietnam, it is related to Eria. The buds (and back side of flowers) are wooly. I do love fuzzy orchids.

Dresslerella caesariata

Another fuzzy orchid... A flower only a mother could love. But cute. This Pleurothallid is native to Ecuador.

Diuis magnifica

Mediterranean-climate terrestrials are starting to put on a show. This one is from western Australia. Like all of this type of orchid, it is dormant and dry from around May to October. Watered well through the winter, they greet the coming of spring.

Diuris orientis

Another "donkey orchid," this one from southern and eastern Australia.

Ophrys cretica var. ariadne

Mediterranean terrestrial, this one from the Greek islands. One of the "bee orchids". A great year for this group, just getting started.

Ophrys fusca

From a wide area of southern Europe, northern Africa, and Turkey. This one was a "bonus" - I ordred several tubers of a Serapias, and it was obvious that this one wasn't. Ron Parsons graciously provide me with the ID.

Ophrys iricolor

Ophrys tenthredinifera

One of my favorites among the "bee orchids", with dramatic colors.

Pterostylis curta

From Australia. Not as tall or dense as some bloomings. This year the flowers are emerging over a longer period of time so that some have finished while others are starting. A longer bloom period but not as spectacular as some of the flush blooms that I have had. But, still a delight. I love the way that these multiply.

Cattleya (Laelia) lundii

A charming Brazilian species.

Masdevallia polysticta

Where many Masdevallias are marginal with our warm summers, this one is easy to grow and very prolific.

Restrepia sanguinea

Flowers are large for the genus. Scott showed one last month that was spotted. This one has subtle stripes but the first impression is the saturated color. It only blooms once a year, but produces multiple flowers over a period of 4-6 weeks.

Angraecum sesquipedale

This Madagascan native is marginal for outdoor growing. The species is native to the coastal lowlands of eastern Madagascar, definitely tropical. However, the plant seems to do fine with our winter chill. I have lost buds, though, to badly-timed cold nights so when it was in spike I brought it inside, and was rewarded with these flowers.

In the greenhouse...

Paphiopedilum haynaldianum

A reliable bloomer, but not frequent.

Chiloschista sweelimii

A cute leafless orchid. It has another spike on the way.

Dendrobium anceps

I was hoping for a flush bloom, but it opens flowers a few at a time. Individual flowers don't last long but there are lots of buds - the best performance that I have seen so far. Baker indicates that it can tolerate cool temperatures, it comes from a wide range of elevations... it is gettiing rather large for the greenhouse, I think that it will move outside as soon as nights get a bit warmer, so it will have lots of time to acclimate before cold weather returns.

Phalaenopsis schilleriana

Along with lovely, delicate flowers it has attractive mottled leaves. Some cultivars are fragrant but I haven't noticed any on this one.