August 2021



From Lynn Wiand:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California

Bulbophylllum pectinatum 'Transar'

From Taiwan. Flowers are 2 1/2 inches.

Microcoelia stolzii

Leafless orchid from Kenya, 1/4 inch flowers

Stanhopea tigrina var. nigroviolacea

Native to Mexico. Highly fragrant


From Scott McGregor:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California

Angraecum magdelanae

One of my favorite outdoor growing Angraecums.  The waxy white flower is only so-so in form, but the intense evening fragrance of cloves is amazing!  These are slow-growing, but new growths branch readily and the plant can remain in a 3-4” pot for a decade.

Brassia verrucosa

Easy outdoor grower “spider orchid”.  I’ve had to replace several of these that bloomed well, but came virused from some otherwise reputable sellers!

Cattleya (Laelia) pururata f. carnea

Pretty in pink!

Cyrtorchis arcuata ssp. whytei 'Northern' HCC/AOS x self

This Angraecoid species is widely distributed across Africa and does well outside.  It has 2” pure white flowers with 4” spurs and very thick (1/2 inch) roots.  It seems to prefer being in a basket or overflowing its pot.  It is night-fragrant.

Dichaea glauca

Attractive plant when not in bloom, good outdoor grower (needs R/O water), with small but lots of sweetly scented flowers on new and old growths.

Meiracyllium trinasutum

A creeping mid to mini with spice-scented flowers.

Restrepia brachypus v. striata

A cool-grower from the Andes in Ecuador and Peru, this Restrepia species flowers sporadically from winter to early summer.

Neobenthamia gracilis

This species from Tanzania has lots of bad cultural info on the web, often being described as lithophytic and requiring warm to hot growing conditions and medium bright light.  If you follow that advice, you get little plants and a few pathetic flowers.  I’ve found the best culture is to grow it as a terrestrial, in a rich, well-draining mix, in a relatively large pot, with lots of fertilizer, and as much full sun as you can provide.  I grow it outdoors, on a south facing patio getting about 6 hours of direct full sun, and don’t give it any protection from cold or rainy nights in the winter—so much for “warm to hot”!  In a few years my plant has more than doubled in size every year, and continuously flowers on heads that each sequentially produce flowers for 6-9 months.  The flowers aren’t especially striking but are fragrant, and hard not to like always being in bloom, since July of last year!

Pleurothallis teres

You definitely don’t grow this one for the tiny, ugly and dubious smelling flowers, but I like the aesthetics of the plant itself (out of bloom) with its tightly-packed 2” terete leaves.  Unlike most of the genus, it grows more dry and is a lithophyte, preferring bright light.  It is an easy grower and stays quite compact—just now outgrowing its 2” pot after a decade.

Stanhopea hernandezii

A species from Mexico—short-lived but large, waxy and intensely fragrant (bubble gum) flowers produced through the bottom of the basket.  Easy outdoor grower, preferring shady to bright conditions.

Sobralia rogersiana 'de Brito'

Summer is Sobralia season!  This species used to be called S. macrantha 'Bolin', but is now a separate species.  One of the largest orchid flowers!  Easy outdoor grower.


From Roberta Fox:


Outside in the Back Yard:

Encyclia ambigua

An easy-growing species from Guatemala and SE Mexico. I don't know what is "ambiguous" about it...

Symphyglossum sanguineum (Oncidium strictum)

From Ecuador and Peru, elevations from 1000-2000 m. I grow it in filtered sun/bright shade. With multiple spikes, it stays in bloom for more than a month.

Laelia (Cattleya) grandis

Blooms just a bit later than most of the L. purpuratas. From SE and NE Brazil, it grows at relatively low elevations, but far enough south that it does experience fairly cool winters

Ada (Brassia) glumacea

Flowers are not particularly showy, but are very fragrant. They smell to me like very ripe fruit. I tend to smell it before I notice the flowers.

Maxillaria tenuifolia f. aurea

The same coconut fragrance as the more common red form.

Laelia (Cattleya) purpurata 'Tipo' AM/AOS x self

To me, "tipo" refers to the typical form, which has light pink petals and dark lip. However, turns out that 'Tipo' was the cultivar name given to the awarded plant, which did have those characteristics. I was very surprised to get pure white flower... I asked Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids, the source of the plant, about it, and he said that there were quite a few albas that came out of that selfing... so the plant clearly was line-bred, with some L. purpurata f. alba in its ancestry. The surprises of genetics...


Aerides rosea

Found across a wide area of southeast Asia, at elevations from about 500-1500 m.


Angraecum sororium

From the central highlands of Madagascar. This is the first time blooming for me. It's not a mini... plant is about 24 inches tall, and just hitting its stride, starting a new basal growth. Andy Phillips cut this from a monster plant. It has established well in a 10-inch terracotta pot. I have found that it needs to grow fairly bright to bloom.

Anguloa ruckeri

From Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela. I have had this plant for a long time, it finally decided to bloom. This is as open as the flower gets. It is lightly fragrant. The "tulip orchid".

Anguloa brevilabris

Native to Colombia and Peru. This one is a bit of a beast. It is in a 10 inch basket. There are about 11 flowers. The pseudobulbs are 6 inches tall. It seems to bloom about every 2 years - the new growths will mature, next year they will lose leaves, and the year after will produce new growths and flowers. I have a small pot inverted in the center of the basket so that it doesn't stay too soggy. It is quite fragrant.

Barkeria melanocaulon

Native to SW Mexico, at elevations around 1600-1700 m. Like all Barkerias, it loses leaves once it blooms. I have learned (the hard way) not to cut the spent spikes until the new growth is established the next year, and just break off the top brittle part. The old canes may look dead, but are very much alive, and are needed to sustain the plant.


Brassia nodosa

"La dama de la noche" for its lovely fragrance in the evening. I grew this completely outdoors for quite a few years, and it did just OK... slow growth, relatively few flowers. I have been moving it to the greenhouse in the winter, and it has exploded with new growth, so I guess it really wants to be a bit warmer. I keep it out on the patio until nights get below about 50 deg F. By that time it's mostly done blooming. But I totally enjoy the evening fragrance all summer long. It keeps producing flowers for several months.

Cattleya leopoldii (tigrina)

The contrast between the dark segments and the saturated magenta lip is very dramatic. It is also fragrant. Not a mini, but footprint stays reasonable. Pseudobulbs are about 24 inches or more, though.

Dendrobium bensoniae

Flowers have the fragrance of vanilla. This one goes completely deciduous in winter, and is one of the few that I do keep fairly dry. The new growth doesn't start until about mid-June, and the buds appear at about the same time. It blooms on the prior year's canes.

Dendrobium glomeratum (sulawesiense)

Satuated magenta flowers contrast with the orange lip, so it almost glows. It can bloom repeatedly on old canes. It has a reputation as a warm grower, but it seems to do just fine outside on the patio. I suspect that there are populations from different elevations that require different conditions.

Dendrobium wassellii

Native to Queensland, Australia. A mass of weird flowers emerge from the base of the succulent leaves.


Hygrochilus parishii (Vandopsis parishii, Phalaenopsis hygrochila)

Plant looks like a Vanda, not a Phal. It was placed in the monotypic genus Hyrochilus, but then got lumped into Phalaenopsis in the latest round of reclassifications. By whatever name, it comes from South-Central China and much of southeast Asia, at elevations from 600-1500 m. It is quite fragrant, with long lating (2 months) flowers, and cold-tolerant. It is also a vigorous "root machine".

Maxillaria dillonii

Lots of waxy flowers. Native to Ecuador and Peru.

Myrmecophila (Schomburgkia) tibicinis

From Mexico through Central America to Venezuela. Color may range from rose to this dark orange.. The hollow pseudobulbs are home to ants in its native habitat, hence the genus name.

Promenaea xanthina

Native to Brazil. This was a SBOE $7.50 special that has grown into a nicely-floriferous plant.

Neofinetia (Vanda) falcata 'Beni-suzume'

The first of my Neos to bloom. I was away on vacation in the middle of July, and have had the experience of leaving buds and coming home to spend spikes. This year they are running a bit late, so I have avoided that disappointment.


Rhyncholaelia digbyana

Above, alba form with no red pigment at all. Right, the typical form, with a blush of red at the tips of segments (and on the backs as well). Citrus aroma, mostly at night.

Schoenorchis juncifolia

Native to Java, Borneo, Sumatra, 1500-1800 m. Inflorescences look like little Wisteria. Plant grows rather shady, but still has a lot of red pigment in the needle-like leaves. Extremely vigorous.


Schoenorchis gemmata

From south-central China, Himalayas, wide area of southeast Asia. Not as vigorous as S. juncifolia, but still puts on a good show.


Sobralia sanderae

One of my most beautiful Sobralias, with pale yellow flowers, dark pink lip and bright yellow throat. I wonder, "Why hybridize?" Hybrids between yellow and pink Sobralias tend to be almost white... here we have the colors. Short-lived flowers typical of the genus, but it keeps producing them over a period of about two months.

Sobralia xantholeuca

Brilliant yellow flowers. I grow it somewhat shady.

Sophronitis bicolor (Cattleya dichroma)

Saturated orange flower with contrasting yellow sidlobes of the lip.

Stanhopea tigrina

Last year's photo... I went on vacation for 11 days, leaving behind fat buds. Of course it (and another Stan. tigrina) bloomed in my absence, and short-lived flowers were done by the time I returned.

Sanhopea tigrina var. nigroviolacea 'Predator' x self

This one I got to enjoy just barely... flowers a bit past their prime, but on my return I did get one day of fragrance before they completely faded. This variety is somewhat darker than the typical Stan. tigrina. It is sometimes shown as Stan. nigroviolacea, but seems to be more recently considered a color form of Stan. tigrina rather than a separate species.

Stanhopea oculata (Stan. bucephalus)

This is a selfing of a plant that was awarded as Stan. bucephalus, but now classified as Stan. oculata, which is highly variable. (Some cultivars are covered with circular spots, and often paler... and bloom at a different time)

Rossioglossum schlieperianum f. aurea

Typical form has dark reddish-brown bars.

Vanda tricolor

I have had this plant, growing outdoors, for over 20 years, so it is a survivor. It became very leggy, had good roots just below the leaves, so I "topped" it. It sulked for a year or so but seems to have recovered. The bottom part has a nice basal keiki that hasn't bloomed yet, but I hope to have a backup plant from it. Greenhouse-grown plants are bigger and stronger than mine, but it does tolerate cool winter nights. It is also lightly fragrant.

Pleurothallis tribuloides

I have been growing one of these in the greenhouse for about 9 years, and so I had planned to put it in the "Greenhouse" section. But my eye caught a flash of orange at the back of my patio growing area, and I discovered another plant of this species, that I had acquired almost 2 years ago and mounted, was also in bloom. So... this species very definitely can grow outside. Above right is the greenhouse plant, in a 4 inch basket, below right is the mounted one that is growing outside. The latter has more flowers than I can capture in one photo, since they are tucked in among the leaves, all around the plant. It is clearly doing quite well! Flowers are 1/4 to 3/8 inch.

In the greenhouse...

Broughtonia sanguinea

Very vigorous plant with multiple spikes and long-lasting flowers. It comes in many color forms and patterns. From Jamaica.

Angraecum distichum

This plant produces flush blooms every few months.

Dendrobium cinnabarinum

Blooms mostly on old canes, but I got a flower on a cane with leaves, as well. The plant is maturing, and I have high hopes for getting more of these brilliant flowers at the same time... so far it has been one at a time but now with less time between flowers.