November 2022

Show and Tell


From Kurt Shanebeck:


Outdoors coastal, north of Los Angeles:

Gomesa (Oncidium) forbesii

Native to Brazil at elevations to 1200m. Growing mounted on cork with moderately bright light.

Gomesa (Oncidium) longipes

Small plant, growing mounted with bright light.

Helcia sanguinolenta 

Growing mounted, shady and moist.


Meiracyllium trinasutum

Found in Mexico and Central America at elevations to 1300m. Growing mounted with bright light.

Oncidium aspidorhinum

Small sized plant from Columbia and Ecuador at elevations of 2000-2800m. Growing mounted with moderately bright light.

Phalaenopsis pulcherrima v. laotica

Native to Laos. Growing potted in bark with moderate light.

Trichopilia fragrans

Growing potted in bark somewhat shady.


From Ed Lyszczek:


Coastal, California Central Coast

Miltonia clowesii

Gary Yong Gee has an excellent description on his Australian website: “ Endemic to Brazil, Milt. clowesii is found in the cooler mountains of Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais. Jim and Barbara McQueen (1993) recommend intermediate conditions with moderate to bright indirect light for this species. Give it plenty of water during the warmer months while it is growing, then a drier winter rest. Due to its rambling habit is is best grown in a shallow tray or basket. Plants may also be mounted on cork bark, hardwood or tree fern but may need daily watering or misting during the hotter months of the year.

Cochleanthes aromatica

Found in Costa Rica and Panama as a small to medium sized, cool growing epiphyte occurring at 1000 to 2000 meters. Highly fragrant flowers (vanilla/gardenia) last two weeks and the plant has been in continuous bloom for the last two months. I grow this plant in a net basket with clay pellet media inside a slightly larger clay pot. The clay pot is kept constantly wet in a rainwater filled saucer. Although described as cool growing the double pot set-up keeps the roots cool, even when my greenhouse gets into the 90’s on warm Summer days although few leaves show accordion pleating folds from overheating/drying.



From Chris Ehrler:


Coastal, California Central Coast

Laelia anceps v. guerrero x 'Irwin'

L. anceps grows as a warm to cool growing epiphyte in Mexico and HOnduras at elevations from 500 to 1500 meters. This orchid is grown mounted on a piece of cork oak bark and is grown outside year round.

Masdevallia fractiflexa

Is a cool growing epiphyte natively growing in Ecuadorian cloud forests at elevations from 1500 to 2500 meters. The orchid is growing in a clay pot filled with sphagnum moss which is in a cool greenhouse.

Pleurothallis mystax

A cool to warm growing epiphyte found in Panama at elevations from 650 to 1000 meters. This orchid is growing mounted on a piece of cork oak bark which is hanging in a cool greenhouse.

Pleurothallis segoviensis

A hot to cool growing epiphyte found in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador at elevations from 350 to 2300 meters. This orchid is growing on a piece of manzanita with a small amount of sphagnum on the roots. Growing in a cool greenhouse.

Pleurothallis talpinaria (purple)

Found natively at least in Venezuela and Colombia growing as an epiphyte in warm to cool conditions at elevations from 450 to 300 meters. Currently growing in a plastic pot filled with sphagnum moss. Growing in a cool greenhouse.

Zootrophion dayanum

This species is found in the Andes of Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador growing as an epiphyte at elevations from 1500 to 1900 meters. The flowers are  completely open as they only have a 'window' opening for the pollinator to enter. This orchid is growing mounted on a piece of redwood with some sphagnum moss on the root.

Restrepia brachypus 'Red Stripe'

This species is found in the Andes of Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador growing as an epiphyte at elevations from 1500 to 1900 meters. The flowers are  completely open as they only have a 'window' opening for the pollinator to enter. This orchid is growing mounted on a piece of redwood with some sphagnum moss on the root.


From Lynn Wiand:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California

Aerangis articulata

From Madsgascar. Sweetly fragrant at night..the flowers are actually pure white. Mounted

Holcoglossum kimballianum

(Thailand / China) light fragrance Actually has 9 flowers now but some were still buds when I took the photo. Mounted.

Sigmatostalix (Gomesa, Ornithophora)

From Brazil. 18” wide 360 degrees the middle is its original 4” basket. Fragrant. Hanging



From Scott McGregor:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California

Catasetum expansum

Got male flowers this year (right).  Above pic is of female flowers from last year on the same plant.  I grow this outdoors on a patio where it gets full sun for a few hours each day—they are tougher than they look!


Ceratochilus biglandulosus

While only putting out one flower at a time, the 1” crystalline pale white flower lasts weeks and is relatively huge for the size of this mini.  It has been blooming sequentially with flowers every month since January of this year and 7 months of last year.  I grow it mounted and bright, with frequent watering.

Ceratostylis retisquama (rubra)

Last month I got one measly flower, but this month a flush bloom!  Supposedly warm grower from the Philippines that seems to do fine outdoors here.

Dockrillia bowmanii (mortii)

Easy outdoor grower from Australia with a rambling habit.  Small 1” green and white flowers in Autumn.

Miltonia moreliana

Miltonia moreliana (previously M. spectabilis v. moreliana) is one of the best species to grow outdoors in Southern CA.  It quickly grows to specimen size, and produces many 4” deeply colored flowers that last for a month or more.  The flowers have a pleasant licorice fragrance.  There are various named line-bred clones that emphasize flower size and form, but note the difference in the lip shape on the same plant in the two close-up pics.  Grow bright (enough for the leaves to be a light-green color) for best flower production.

Oerstedella (Epidendrum) schweinfurthianum

Grows outdoors in full sun into a 4’ tall bush, and blooms all summer with shockingly color-saturated flowers.

Pleurothallis sarracenia (Acianthera bragae)

From flowers last June, to now… last pic (right) shows that almost every flower somehow got pollinated and so dozens of seedpods!  Now that I’ve noticed, I’ll cut off all but a couple— let me know if you want to try to flask/germinate these.

Sobralia species (not macra)

Unknown Sobralia species originally sold as S. macra.  Compact plant only about 18-24” tall has short-lived cream flowers with a deep violet lip, and flowers from both the top of a mature cane as well as from leafless basal spurs.  This time it also flowered from the bottom of the pot like a Stanhopea, which makes me think this one prefers to be an epiphyte!

Note from Andy Phillips with regard to possible ID: "I still do not have a name on this. Every year I pore through the internet trying to get a name without success to date."

Laelia anceps 'Royal Flush' x 'Deja Vu'

My first L. anceps to bloom—line bred for large flower size and form.

Fernandezia maculata

Ok, so it is a single tiny (4x8mm) somewhat beat-up flower, but it is brightly colored, and it is a Fernandezia!  These are mostly grown by masochists who also like killing Dendrobium cutherbertsonii.  I got this as a near blooming size seedling a couple years ago and the plant actually seems really happy and this is its first flower.  Maybe next year it will be more photo-worthy!  I grow it mounted directly on cork with no moss, in bright light but in a cooler spot in the outdoor shade house, and watered often.

Sophronitis (Cattleya) brevipedunculata

Lost some buds due to a heat wave on this usually spectacular specimen, but still got about half.  I grow my Sophronitis species bright and mounted on cork branches without any moss, so the roots can ramble.


Maxillaria dillonii

A large plant of this species will almost always be in bloom.  I’m not a “Maxillaria whisperer” like Roberta and so only keep a few species.  I especially like this one because it stays compact, has large 3-4” flowers, and blooms often.

Epidendrum embreei

Small but brightly colored, this species usually flush blooms on multiple mature canes but this year just did one at a time.  Buds just beginning to open in this pic.


From Roberta Fox:


Outside in the Back Yard:

Brassavola perrinii

I moved this out of the greenhouse about a year ago, and it has done fine outside. Brazil S, Paraguay, Bolivia.

Catasetum expansum

No sign of any red pigment, so I'd consider this "alba". The yellow callus looks almost like wax or plastic. Of all my Catasetinae, this is the most vigorous. I usually put it in the greenhouse over the winter, but have two divisions so I think I'll try keeping one of them outside, will need to find a spot that's dry. If that works, likely that's where all of my Ctsm expansums will move permanently since they are large and GH space is precious,

Barkeria lindleyana ssp. vanneriana

This was mounted, but eventually the mount disintegrated. I pulled out the bits of rotted wood, put a zip tie throught the rootball, and it has grown well, basically monted to itself. Barkerias definitely need to dry out, so mounting, or basket with no medium, is the way to go. I don't cut the spent spikes until the next year when there are new ones, and then just snap off the brittle part - don't cut, since you likely will cut the live stem. It's deciduous, but definitely not dead. Mexico S and C, also Central America

Barkeria scandens

Obtained as a keiki, stil fairly small but growing vigorously on its mount. Color is more intense than that of its Bark. lindleyana cousin. Mexico S and C


Cattleya labiata

All three of my color forms bloomed this month, and each has its special charm. The rubra form is the smallest (abour 4 inches) but has lovely shape from a human point of view -round, flat, wide petals. It's line bred from select parents... a pollinator probably wouldn't recognize it. The alba form is the most floriferous of the bunch, 5 inch flowrs with classic shape. The coerula is the giant of the group. Flowers are about 6.5-7 inches, and the soft violet color is delightful. I love them all. The rubra bloomed and finished ahead of the other two, but I was able to get a "family portrait" of the alba and coerulea blooms.

Ceratostylis retisquama (rubra)

From the Philipines, supposdly below 500 m. It has a reputation of being a warm-grower. But mine grows quite well on my patio. It pops out the occasional flower at various times, but also produces a nice flush bloom several times a year. Buds hide in the leaf axils, and seem to suddenly appear.

Cleisostoma simondii

Cute little Vandaceous species with lots of terete leaves about 3 inches long. The flowers are easy to miss because colors are muted and only about 3/4 inch, but the plant has another spike that will bloom when this one is fading. It grows in a wood basket (think 3-dimensional mount) with no medium. When mounted it just goes off in all directions. Native to a wide area of east Himalaya, China-Hainan, and much of southeast Asia.

Dracula cordobae

This plant opened a few flowers during the heat, then promptly shut them. As soon as the nights cooled off, it has gone crazy from multiple spikes that were just waiting for the right time. It difficult to photograph, since one needs to get under it. Using the front (selfie) camera on a phone seems to help. Each spike can bloom multiple times.


Prosthechea (Encyclia) vitellina

Above is photo from July (blooming at the end of June). To the right is the same spike, still going, having produced (and dropped) multiple flowers. The spike, in mid October, is now about 17 inches long, and still going (though probably not for too much longer). What a show!

Dendrobium (Epigeneium) triflorum var. orientale

From Java. It blooms 2 or 3 times a year with cream-white flowers. I have found that Epigeneiums tend to grow and bloom best once they have escaped from their basket or mount.

Dendrobium (Epigeneium) nakaharae

Blooms several times a year. Lip is shiny, almost metallic. Has grown off the mount, is blooming with more flowers and more frequently. Native to Taiwan and Vietnam.

Paphiopedilum gratrixianum

Easy outdoor grower.


Gomesa colorata (Oncidium coloratum)

Miniature Oncidum relative with flowers as big as the plant and intriguing patterns. Native to southern Brazil. Grows shady and damp.

Haraella retrocalla

Another miniature, this in the Vandaceous family. An inflorescence can produce 2 or 3 flowers sequentially. Their fragrance is bigger than their size. They have been reclassified as Gastrochilus, probably in an attempt to avoid monotypic genera. Native to Taiwan. Looks very delicate, but actually a tough little plant that tolerates both winter cold and summer heat, blooms several times a year.

Pelatantheria insectifera

Native to a wide area of east Himalaya, northern India, and southeast Asia. It has a rambling habit, and produces clusters of half-inch flowers at multiple nodes on the stem.

Prosthechea cochleata

The "cockle shell" or "octopus" orchid. It produces flowers sequentially for many months. By March the spike may be 2 feet long or more, with new flowers produced at the growing tip.

Restrepia condorensis

Blooms on and off all year, where most of my other restrepias are more seasonal.

Scaphosepalum swertifolum ssp. exiguum

Produces a multude of small but intricate flowers, several times a year. It produces flowers sequentially on the inflorescences for many months.

Scaphyglottis minutiflora

This lives up to its name. It makes up for the diminutive flower size by producing lots of them.(Index finger for size) Since the color is not dramatic, it's easy to miss the bloom, a lesson to look at one's plants often.

In the greenhouse...

Angraecum distichum

As the plant matures, the flush blooms come more often, several times a year. It will also pop smaller number of flowers in between. Fragrant both day and night. It is in a 4 inch basket, still a miniature. Native to west and west-central Africa.

Angraecum leonis

From northern Madagascar and the Comoros. There are, according to Charles Baker, two forms, with the Comoros form being larger and from somewhat higher elevation. No way of knowing which this is, grows well in the greenhouse so I'm not going to chance growing it outside.

Bulbophyllum medusae

The fascinating wispy "whiskers" are the sepals, from a multitude of individual flowers. It is native to a wide area of lowland southeast Asia including Mayasia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Dendrobium bracteosum

Labeled "Den. bracteosum x Den. tanii" but Den. tanii is not a separate species, just a somewhat smaller variety of Den. bracteosum. This plant is a non-stop bloomer. The flowers last for several months, and as they start to fade, a new batch is emerging. It blooms on both leafed and leafless canes, repeadedly. I bring it into the house to enjoy it, but after a couple of months give it some greenhouse time to get more light, otherwise the new flowers tend to be pale.

Phalaenopsis (Doritis) pulcherrima

Native to a wide area of southeast Asia. Segments tend to be very reflexed, though there are some linebred cultivars that are flat and round. While mostly from low elevations, there are some populations up to 1300 m, so could grow cooler, as Kurt's experience indicates..

Dendrobium smilliae

Native to New Guniea and Austrialia-Queensland. It blooms on prior year's bare canes. It may bloom more than one year on an old cane.