June 2023

From Kurt Shanebeck:


Outdoors coastal, north of Los Angeles:

Arpophyllum giganteum

Native to Mexico and Central America. Growing potted in bark and given bright light.

Cattleya fournieri

A Brazilian rupicolous species. Growing potted in a bark/granite mix and given bright light

Coelogyne nitida

Epiphyte native to Southern Asia growing at elevations of 1300-2600m. Growing potted in bark and given moderate light.

Masdevallia nivea

A cloud forest epiphyte from Columbia. Growing potted in moss and given shade.

Dendrobium fleckeri

Native to Australia where is grows as an epiphyte or lithophyte. Growing potted in bark and given bright light

Dendrobium schrautii

Species from Vietnam. Growing mounted and given bright light.

Dendrobium tetragonum v. giganteum

An Australian epiphyte. Growing mounted and given moderate light.

Dendrobium wilsonii

An epiphyte from Southern China. Growing mounted and given bright light

Guarianthe aurantiaca

An epiphyte from Mexico and Central America. Growing potted in bark and given bright

Cattleya (Laelia) jongheana

A cool growing epiphyte from Brazil. Growing mounted.

Laelia speciosa

A very attractive Mexican species. Growing mounted

Mystacidium venosum

A miniature epiphyte from Southern Africa growing at elevations of 500-1700m. Small flowers with long nectar spur. Growing mounted and given bright light.

Oncidium lindleyoides

An epiphyte from the cloud forests of South America. Growing mounted and given moderate light.


Paphiopedilum gratrixianum

Terrestrial species from China. Growing potted in bark and given moderate light. Typically this has bloomed in November and early December for me, but this year I am getting an additional bloom in spring.

Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum

Terrestrial species from Asia.Growing potted in bark and given partial shade.

Polystachya pubescens

South African species that grow as an epiphyte or occasional lithophyte. Growing potted in bark and given moderately bright light

Prosthechea bueraremensis

Brazilian epiphyte. Growing potted in bark and given bright light

Rhyncholaelia digbyana

Epiphyte from Mexico and Central America. Generally known as a hot to warm growing species—seems to do pretty well outside. Growing potted in bark and given very bright light.

Vanda alpina

Native to the Himalayas and Southern China growing as an epiphyte at elevations of 1200-2000m. Growing mounted and given bright light.


From Chris Ehrler:


Coastal, California Central Coast


Dendrobium trantuanii

In this is reported to be a warm growing epiphyte native to in northwestern Vietnam elevations of 800 to 1000 meters. But this orchid is growing well mounted on a piece of cork bark which is in a cool greenhouse. It has survived 40 F nights in winter.

Dracula dodsonii

Found in Colombia and Ecuador at elevations of 1,600 to 2,00 meters as a cool growing epiphyte or terrestrial. Growing in a mesh pot filled with a mixture of bark and lava rock. Pot is in a cool greenhouse. The spikes grow upwards instead of downward in many Dracula species.


Masdevallia coccinea 'Seattle Gold'

One of the many clones of this popular species. This species is native to Colombia and is cold growing epiphyte found at elevations of 2400 to 3000 meters. Growing in a mesh pot filled with a mixture of bark and lava rock. Pot is in a cool greenhouse.

Sarcochilus hartmanii

Grows natively in eastern Australian as a cool to hot lithophytic and sometimes epiphytic species found at elevations up to 1000 meters.This orchid grows year round outside under lath covered area. When this plant needs repotting, I have just added a larger pot to capture the aerial roots that were growing outside the first pot.

Platystele consobrina

A cool to cold growing epiphyte native to Colombia at elevations of 1,600 to 2,500 meters. This orchid is growing in a small mesh pot filled with a mixture of bark and lava rock. Pot is in a cool greenhouse. This flower is just over 1/4 inch from top to bottom.

Scaphosepalum anchoriferum

This is a cool growing epiphyte native to Costa Rica, Panama and Ecuador at elevations of 1100 to 2000 meters. This orchid is growing in a mesh pot filled with sphagnum moss which is in a cool greenhouse.


Scaphosepalum tiaratum

Grows in Colombia and Ecuador at elevations of 1700 to 2000 meters as a cool growing epiphyte. The long spike has had approximately 50 previous flowers. This orchid is growing in a mesh pot filled with a mixture of bark and lava rock. Pot is in a cool greenhouse.


From Scott McGregor:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California

Dendrobium papilio (large form)

Available in “large but few flowers” and “floriferous but small flowers” forms, this large form plant is unusually floriferous this year! These are really nice plants to grow outside—the 4” flowers are along wiry canes so they drift in the breeze.

Diuris drummondii

The last of my Diuris to bloom—the “tall donkey orchid”.  From the coastal grasslands south of Perth, Australia, the tall (24”) spikes keep the flowers visible above the rest of the greenery.

Oncidium (Gomesa) concolor

From Brazil, this easy-to-grow species has pure and fully saturated yellow flowers.

Neobenthamia gracilis

Ignore the online advice to grow this one indoors and hot; in Southern California it grows fine outdoors all year and thrives in a big pot of well-watered terrestrial mix and lots of sunshine.  It is a great patio plant that can grow into a large clump, 3’ tall and as much or more in diameter.  It mostly blooms year-round for me, with a brief winter rest.  The white flowers are quite fragrant and successively open within the umbel, so each spike can stay in bloom for many weeks.

Thelymitra crinita x glaucophylla (nuda)

One of the more reliably blue Thelymitras.

Thelymitra dentata x glaucophylla "striped"

is primary cross is one of my favorites. While the flowers are overall more lavender than blue, they have distinctly blue stripes. As you can see, the plants are also quite prolific and put on a good show.


From Roberta Fox:


Outside in the Back Yard:

Amitostigma (Ponerorchis) keiskei

This cute little Japanese terrestrial is one of several that I'm trying as my next project. It comes from boggy areas in the mountains of central Japan. After blooming, it dies back (but still needs water during the summer) and produces tubers that need a winter chill. The winter plan is to unpot them, put them in baggies in the refrigerator with a bit of moist (but not wet) sphagnum. These were already just starting to sprout when I got them so I can't really take credit. The test will be whether I can show them to you again next spring. Or in my enviroment they could be "annuals" ... we'll see.


Arpophyllum giganteum

From Mexico, Central America, and northern South America at elevations from 350 to 2100 m. I grow it in a basket, with very little medium, It grows both upward and through the sides of the basket.



Barbosella cucullata

Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia at elevations from 1700 to 2900 m. Since the flowers are nearly the same color as the leaves, their development is not obvious, and then, suddenly, it is bloom!


Bulbophyllum hamatipes

Native to Java, 1300-1700 m. It grows mounted on a piece fo tree-fern log. Roots and growths tend to ramble, so it wouldn't really lend itself to growing in a pot, and it seems to be getting adequate moisture. Flowers have heavy, almost waxy substance.


Guarianthe (Cattleya) aurantiaca

Here is a spotted version of the more common orange form, and a bright yellow form. Flowers have heavy, waxy substance. Native to Mexico, and Central America, elevations 600-1100 m. I have found that these grow better in hanging wood baskets than in pots.

Cattleya intermedia

One of the easiest Cattleyas to grow outside, and it has many color forms. The alba form above is actually peloric - the petals have have ruffles at the tips, a mimic of the lip, and they also have a heavy rib - without color, the peloric form is subtle, but compare with the coerula form on the right which has the classic shape.


Cattleya schroederae

Another of the big-flowerered (6-7 inches) Catts that grows outside. It is native to Colombia, elevation 1400-1600 m.


Coelogyne flaccida

This plant lives up to its name. The inflorescence is very soft and floppy. It definitely needs to be grown hanging. It is native to a wide area of northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, and southwest China at elevations 1000-1800 m.

Coelogyne nitida

Crystalline-white flowers with a golden patch. It is native to a wide area of northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, southeast Asia and southwest China at elevations 1500-2300 m.

Epidendrum difforme

Clusters of yellow-green flowers. The growths tend to be somewhat pendant. Range is from Florida to northern South America at elevations from near sea level to 3000 m.

Cyrtochilum cimiciferum

Not one of the more spectacular examples of the genus. Flowers are only about 1/2 inch, and are spaced at about 2 inch intervals on a thin creeping inflorescence. Native to Ecuador, found near Quito.

Dendrobium fimbriatum var. oculatum

Lots of deciduous Dendrobiums are waking up, producing flowers on bare canes. In winter, they may look dead but they certainly are not! I don't dry out or shelter any of them, and clearly that isn't stopping them from blooming, even with all the rain that the plants got this winter. I am firmly convinced that winter cold serves as a trigger rather than dryness. (In nature they get humidity and dew even if it doesn't rain) It is native to wide area of southeast Asia, southwest China, and northern India at elevations from 500-2400 m.


Dendrobium rindjaniense

Native to the Sunda Islands, elevation 1900-2000 m. It blooms on the very interesting leafless canes (and blooms several times from the same cane) but leaf loss seems to be more a matter of maturity of the cane than a seasonal occurence. It can bloom more than once a year.


Den scoriarum

Blooming from dead-looking bare canes. Just the bare beginnings of new growth are starting to appear. Native to Yunnan province, southwest China, elevation around 1520 m.

Diuris behrii

One of the smaller members of the genus. Leaves are only about 3 inches. Native to south and southeast Australia.

Diuris drummondii

Scott's plant is 2-3 inches taller than mine, and flowers quite a bit larger. (They were side-by-side at a society meeting) But my plant turned out more floriforous. A grand farewell to the Mediterranean-climate terrestrials season, most are already dormant and this, the latest-blooming one, will follow soon.

Diuris behrii and Diuris drummondii

Side by side, for size comparison.


Epidendrum lacustre 'Wow Fireworks'

The purple Panama form. It blooms faithfully for me every year, and grows vigorously. It needs full sun to develop the strong purple color, and also wants to be sopping wet. I grow it with the L. anceps, but to maintain mosture, it is potted with sphaghnum in the middle of the pot, and just filled in with small bark. This year I even got a bit of purple on the lip of a few flowers.

Leptotes bicolor

Grows well on a stick. There may be a small amount of sphagum in there somewhere, but roots completely cover the stick. The copious rain seems to have imspired one of the best blooms I have seen from this plant. It is native to a wide area of southern Brazil, elevations 500-900 m.

Leptotes pohlitinocoi

Native to Bahia state in Brazil, elevation 500-800 m.

Leptotes unicolor

This species occurs in white, light pink, and dark pink forms. Native to Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.

Polystachya pubescens

I had grown this in the greenhouse for quite a few years, but after seeing how well it does for Kurt Shanebeck outside, I moved mine out too. It has been outside for a year, and is doing quite well. This close-up shows the hairs that inspired its name.


Mexicoa ghiesbreghtiana
(Oncidium ghiesbreghtianum)

As the name (before the reclassification) implies, it is native to Mexico. it grows south and southwest Mexico, elevations 1800-2300 m.

Oncidium leucochilum

Native to Mexico SE, Guatemala, and Honduras, at elevations around 2000 m



Renanthera imschootiana

This was a SBOE $7.50 special from a few years ago. It is still quite small (plant not quite 4 inches), but not too small to bloom. I have a much large plant of the species, that typically blooms in late summer, so this was a lovely surprise. Native to northeast India, and Vietnam at elevation 1000-1500 m.

Sarcochilus fitzgeraldii

This highly-variable species is an important source of color in the complex breeding of modern Sarcochilus hybrids. The other major constituent of those hybrids is Sarco. hartmanii (see the magnificent specimen grown by Chris Ehrler). Through many generations of selection, the spotted, deep pink, and red hybrids go back to these, with just a bit of other species added in.


Stelis purpurascens

This species is found from Mexico to Peru, at elevations 1000-1500 m. The individual flowers are only about 2-3 mm (1/8 inch) and point downward so that it difficult to even see that they are open, but the spikes are 12 inches or more and there are lots of them. Clearly the diminuitve pollinator can see them just fine.

In the greenhouse...

Brassavola sp.

Labeled "Brassavola ceboletta" but it isn't. Likely it is from Brazil. It's quite vigorous.

Jumellea arachnantha

Pristine white flowers, fragrant at night. Native to the Comoro Islands, elevations 1230-1800 m. This would imply that it may do just fine outdoors. It will be moving out of the greenhouse soon.

Polystachya paniculata

Native to a wide area of tropical Africa.