February 2022



From Scott McGregor:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California

Comparettia speciosa 'Baker's Beauty' x 'Orange Perfection'

Nothing like bright orange flowers opening up to brighten a mid-winter’s day!  This is a twig epiphyte, so grow mounted, in bright light and water heavily when blooming.  Don’t cut flower spikes as they can re-bloom.  I’ve found this line-bred clone (blooming for the 4th year in a row) to be easier than the typical species, which can be fussy and short-lived.

Dendrobium violaceum 'Blue'

I’m a sucker for anything that might truly be blue, and there are some Dendrobium species (e.g. selected clones of D. parvulum) that come pretty close.  Sadly, this PNG mini challenges the imagination to see much blue.  The second pic is of the typical D. violaceum.

Dendrobium violaceum typical

Isabelia (Sophronitella) violacea

Cute Brazilian mini from a genus (Isabelia) of just three species.  I have two of these and the little one (this one) blooms in early January and the large one reliably blooms a few weeks later.  Grow bright and allow to dry out between waterings.

Maxillaria elatior

This one seems to grow vertically, with 1.5” waxy flowers. (Ed. note: Also, it produces new flowers over a period of several weeks to more than a montn)

Laelia anceps f. veitchiana

It’s Laelia anceps season!


From Roberta Fox:


Outside in the Back Yard:


Pleurothallis cardiothallis

Reliable and prolific. Growths produce multiple flowers sequentially, so that it is in bloom for several months.


Oncidium endocharis

Native to southern Mexico, most of Central America and South America into Colombia. Grows mounted, bright shade or filtered sun. Flowers are about 1 inch.

Scaphosepalum gibberosum

One of the larger members of the species, the flowers are almost 3 inches wide. It blooms sequentially on the same inflorescence for as much as two years. It looks to me like a little bird in flight.

Encyclia bracteata

Brilliant color contrast. This little Brazil native produces flowers that last two months or more. It blooms two or three tmes a year

Pleurothallis rowleii

Floriferous bloom of dark little flowers.

Pleurothallis alvaroi

Another floriferous Pleurothalllis

Restrepia condorensis

This one is a non-stop bloomer

Restrepia contorta

This time of year, several species of these "little bugs" bloom particularly profusely.

Restrepia jesupiana

Flowers are relatively large for the genus, with sunset colors.

Pleurothallis radula

These perky flowers are produced sequentially, so that it is in bloom much of the time.

Ada (Brassia) aurantiaca

Flowers don't have great form - they never open fully, but they give the impression of brilliant flames on gray winter days. 8 spikes this year - I have had more in other years, but not complaining. The show goes on for at least two months,

Ceratostylis retisquama

I have shown this before, but this supposedly warm-grower is blooming again in the dead of winter.

Bonatea speciosa

More buds to open, starting to put on a good show. This South African terrestrial grows well on the bright side.

Epidendrum purum

A cloud of white flowers. Labeled "Warm/Intermediate" but it isn't. It grows vigorously,

Ophrys ariadnae (Ophrys cretica)

The first of my Mediterranean terrestrials to bloom. These are kept completely dry in summer. Usually I start watering in late October, when nights are reliably cool. This year the watering started early, since we got rain in early October. This one woke up particularly early. There will be more action in the next two months or so,

Den rindjaniense

The bumpy canes are particularly interesting. They are deciduous, and bloom at the tip of the bare canes of the previous year. Native to Mt. Rindjani in the Sunda Islands of Indonesia

Epidendrum nocturnum

This particular plant also bloomed last April, and another plant of the same species bloomed in August. So this one does what it wants, when it wants. It is native to a wide range of elevations in South America - I have seen it in Ecuador at moderate elevation, and also along the Rio Negro in Brazil.

Oncidium sotanum

Previously identified as Onc. ornithorhynchum. which turned out to be quite a different plant.

Paph gratrixianum

An easy outdoor grower. I grow it fairly bright, along with Paph,. insigne and Paph. villosum

Pleurothallis dilemma

Flowers are produced sequentially from leaves that are reminiscent of string beans. A particularly cute little plant and flower.

Dinema (Encyclia) polybulbon

Vigorous, most of the roots are in the the air, but it is also rooting well onto a piece of bottlebrush wood. That wood has turned out to be an excellent mouting material, and it is readily available in this area, just find someone who is pruning a tree.

Catasetum lucis

I winter my Catasetinae in the greenhouse (completely dry) but during their growing time, they are outside. This one was the last of my Catasetums to bloom - it did so after going dormant. It is quite fragrant.

In the greenhouse...


Ancistrochilus rothschildianus

Deciduous terrestrial with pseudobulbs that look like Hershey's kisses. It blooms while bare, or nearly bare, of leaves. Native to west and central Africa.

Bulbophyllum maxillare (blumei, masdevalliaceum)

I have seen this for sale under all of the synonums. (The tag on mine is blumei) All the same thing. A realy prolific, vigorous plant.

Chiloschista sweemilii

A leafless orchid. The roots have chloroplasts (they turn green when wet) and they do all the photosynthisizing that the plant needs,

Phalaenopsis schilleriana

Along with the cloud of delicate pink flowers, this species also has lovely mottled leaves, so it is very attractive even when not in bloom.

Paphiopedilum haynaldianum

Multiple growths leads to multiple spikes, and a spectacular show.

Stenorrhynchos speciosum

Native to much of Central America and Caribbean islands. This terrestrial orchid would do very nicely as a house plant - it doesn't need much light, and the spotted, velvety foliage makes it attractive even when not in bloom.

Ascocentrum garayi

Sunshine. Very similar to Ascocenrum miniatum,

Maxillaria richii

Prolific bloomer. I do love the contrast between the mauve flowers and yellow lip.