May 2022


From Kurt Shanebeck:


Outdoors coastal, north of Los Angeles:

Dendrobium schrautii

This is an easy growing Dendrobium that has bloomed quite reliably. It grows mounted under bright light with daily water. The mount is almost completely rotted at this point so I will need to remount soon.

Encyclia cordigera

This is a plant that is widely regarded as a hot to warm grower. I am not sure why I initially put it outside, but it has proven to be quite robust growing outdoors over the last 3+ years.

Nageliella angustifolium

The foliage on this plant is at least as satisfying as the flowers—succulent spotted leaves. The sequential blooming spikes can rebloom in successive years

Oncidium ghiesbrechtiana (syn. Mexicoa)

Growing mounted and moist under bright light.

Oncidium spectatissimum (sym. Odontoglossum)

Beautiful large flowers (3-4”). I had it growing mounted, but it didn’t seem to be staying moist enough so I put it in a pot where it seems happier (so far).

Oncidium tigroides (syn. Solenidiopsis)

this is a small Oncidium that like to grow shady and moist. This plant is mounted and produces an eye catching display.


Polystachya pubescens

South African species. Has beautiful markings that are somewhat hard to see since the flowers tend to hang down. Although it is generally an epiphyte I am growing it potted in partial shade.

Polystachya ottoniana

Small plant with closely spaced pseudobulbs grwing mounted and shady

Prosthechea bueraremensis

Indoors, Under Lights:

Chysis limminghei

A semi-deciduous orchid from Mexico. I am growing it potted in bark under bright LED lights. It gets watered about 3 times a week when in active growth.

Tolumnia variegata

A mini epiphyte from the Caribbean with fleshy leaves. Grows mounted under bright LED light and gets daily water.


From Scott McGregor:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California

Angraecum arachnites

A creeping mini, with spidery flowers large for the size of the plant.

Angraecum urschianum

One of the smallest Angraecums, but it makes up for it with a flower bigger than the plant!

Ansellia africana 'Kenya Dark'

Ansellia africana is the perfect outdoor orchid for the patio—it can handle some direct sun, doesn’t mind hot or cold (even a but of frost), and puts out large sprays of fragrant, long-lasting 2-3” yellow and brown flowers on 3’ tall (or more) plants.  I grow mine in large pots filled with lava rock and a bit of large orchiata bark, to give the plant lots of space for roots, and for the weight to keep the plant from blowing over in the wind.  It is known for creating a basket of roots that protrude upward out of the pot, in order to catch debris and organic matter.

Disa sagittalis

AFrican terrestrial. Maybe needs to be treated a bit differently than the Mediterranean terrestrials. Certainly easier to grow than the spectacular riparian Disas such as D. uniflora


Eulophia speciosa

Opening a half-dozen flowers at a time on dense spikes, this sun-loving terrestrial species is in bloom from late Spring until mid-summer.  From southern Africa, it prefers sandy soil (or even pure sand), and grows large tubers underground.

Guarianthe (Cattleya) aurantiaca 'Orange Spots'

From Mexico and Central America, this species has small (1.5”) flowers but they are bright orange and this variant is named for the spots on the petals and sepals.  Tolerant of high heat and light frosts.

Oncidium (Gomesa) concolor

Bright 2” pure yellow flowers, small compact plant, and fragrant too!

Restrepia chocoensis

One super-tough Restrepia species with semi-terete leaves-- I grow it bright (unlike most Restrepias).  It has a reputation as a slow-grower, but the flowers are nice and it won’t die if it gets hot or dry.

Thelymitra cyanea

The last of my Thelymitras to bloom, T. cyanea is also called the “swamp sun orchid” or the “veined sun orchid”.  It is common across New Zealand as well as Southern Australia.  As its name might imply, it needs a bit different culture than other Thely’s as it is only briefly summer dormant (June – August) and needs more water than others.  This year it flowered less “blue” than other years, perhaps because the substrate wasn’t sufficiently acidic.

Thelymitra dentata x glaucophylla

A primary hybrid. Violet flowers with blue stripes!  No color editing—cropped only.


From Roberta Fox:


Outside in the Back Yard:


Epigeneium triflorum var. orientale

Usually blooms about twice a year for me, in spring and fall. A high-elevation species from Java. It has a growth habit that tends to ramble - I have it in a plastic basket, and the pseudobulbs are working their way upward. It seems to bloom best once it gets away from any medium.


Arpophyllum giganteum

Native to Mexico, Central America into South America, at elevations from 350 to 2100 m. The basket has little medium in it, and the plant is growing vey well, in several directions. In years past it has been a hummingbird magnet, but this year I haven't seen much investigation.

Cattleya intermedia

f. amethystina top (mounted), f. coerulea bottom (basket). This species has quite a few color forms, and grows easily under backyard conditions with no shelter. Native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay. The peloric form, f. aquinii, is in the background of many splash-petal hybrids.

Cattleya mossiae f. semi-alba

The national flower of Venezuela. It has several color forms. I grow it under polycarbonate to protect from winter rain, but cool temperatures are not a problem.


Dendrobium anceps

This species has succulent leaves arranged along the canes. (The little brown structures are newly-emerging buds) Note that there are buds emerging along leafless canes that look quite dead. A lesson to not cut anything unless it is completely shriveled all the way to the base. The species comes from a range of elevations in the Himalaya foothills of India and southeast Asia. I started out growing it in the greenhouse, but it ended up taking up a lot of room and not blooming very well, so it moved outside. It lost some leaves while it was adjusting, but this is the best blooming that I have had.


Dendrobium jenkinsii

A bit of sunshine. It's a small plant - leaves are about an inch. It's closely related to Den. lindleyi, but for me it is much easier to bloom. I don't particularly dry it out in winter, but being mounted it dries very rapidly, and that seems, along with cool winter nights, to be sufficient to trigger blooming.

Diuris drummondii

This "donkey orchid' from Western Australia is the last of my terrestrials to bloom. All of the rest are long since finished and mostly dried up. The grassy leaves are showing signs of dormancy, but it definitely has a later season than its relatives.

Dryadella zebrina

This cute miniature Pleurothallid produces a profusion of flowers. I grow it shady and damp. It's important to check the little ones that don't have dramatic colors, to not miss the show.

Guaranthe (Cattleya) aurantiaca f. aurea 'Lemon Drop'

The brilliant yellow form of this species. Flowers have heavy, almost plastic-like substance.

Guarianthe (Cattleya) aurantiaca 'Orange Spots x self'

And here is my spottted Gur. aurantiaca.

Leptotes bicolor

A miniature plant with 1.5 inch flowers. Some people grow them in pots but I have had poor success that way. This one is mounted with just a little sphagnum that got it started, but now roots pretty much cover the stick.

Leptotes pohlitinocoi

It's defnitely Leptotes time... All grow under the same conditions - bright morning light, mounted so that they dry quickly.

Leptotes unicolor

And yet another cute Brazilian.

Mexicoa ghiesbreghtiana (Oncidium ghiesbreghtianum)

This is growing for me also. It gets filtered sun/bright shade. As the genus name implies, it is native to Mexico, central and southwest.

Polystachya ottoniana

Native to South Africa and adjacent countries at elevations from 800 to 1600 m. Unlike many in the genus, it is very cold-tolerant. The intricate flowers are best appreciated in close-up.

Coelogyne taronensis

Flowers are almost as big as the plant, nearly 2 inches. Native to Yunnan province, China at elevations of 2400 to 3500 m. It has grown slowly for me - I suspect that our climate is warmer that it prefers. I have had it for more than 5 years and this is the first bloom. Last summer and fall were fairly cool, and that might have helped.

Dendrobium bellatulum

Flowers about 1 inch, leaves about 2 inches. This species is from a wide area of southeast Asia, the Himalaya foothills, elevations 900-1700 m. I don't dry it out in winter, but being mounted it dries fast and cool nights facilitate blooming.

Pleione formosanum

This is the only Pleione that I have had success with - most species need a colder winter. It does go completely deciduous in winter, and I try to keep it fairly dry. The flowers emerge at the same time as the new growths.

Papilionanthe teres

The genus was formerly referred to as "terete Vanda". Reputed to be more of a warm grower, it does fine on my patio. I got it from Cheryl DiDonna before she left for Hawaii... Thank you!

Ansellia africana f. alba

Flowers are smaller than those of the standard Ansellia africana, but there are many more of them. The term "alba" refers to the absence of anthocyanin, the red pigment - so can include yellow as well as white flowers. (The photo appears to show a bit of red, but it is just the browning of aging flowers. ) This is an extremely vigorous plant, with lots of "birds nest" roots.

Vanda barnesii

I got this as V. javierae. Shortly thereafter, there was an article in Orchid Digest describing it as a new species. There was a shipment of these, obtained by a nursery in the San Francisco Bay area (no longer in business). The two species come from the same area of Luzon Island in the Philippines, elevations of 1200-1600 m.

Sarcochilus hartmannii

This is one of the "foundation" species of the great variety of Sarcochilus hybrids that are now available. I grow it in bright shade, keep it fairly damp, potted in medium-large bark. Ideally, it should be dried out somewhat in winter for better blooming. I don't particularly do that - and some plants bloom better than others.

Sarcochilus fitzgeraldii

The other "foundation" species for most of the hybrids. This one is highly variable in terms of color. The "ring" around the lip of the white ones can range from pink to orange-red, and others have varying amounts of pink. Selective breeding, with a bit of other species, gives the range of colors that one can get in hybrids.

Angraecum arachnites

My plant is rooted in a 4 inch basket, but most of the plant is hanging free, so the spidery flowers float in the breeze. I got 6 flowers in this blooming, but the most open at one time was 3. However, that just extended the bloom time since the flowers are fairly short-lived

In the greenhouse...

Phalaenopsis tetraspis f. imperiatrix

Phal. tetraspis and Phal. speciosa are now accepted as separate species, but that was a subject of debate for some years. Note that for both, the color pattern varies from flower to flower, on the same inflorescence.

Phalaenopsis speciosa

Here there are 4 flowers on the inflorescence (3 visible in the photo, one petal of the 4th) and you can see one flower that is almost completelly red, one that is almost completely white, and one that has a mix. The next blooming will be some other combination.

Dendrobium papilio

I got this as a seedling, and nurtured it the greehouse. A mature plant can tolerate outdoor cold. I might move this (or not). The color pattern on the lip is particularly dramatic in this example.



Dendrobium capituliflorum

Pompoms of long-lasting little flowers.

Polystachya paniculata

Native to a wide area of tropical western and central Africa. The color contrast between the bright green panicle and the orange flowers is particularly dramatic.