July 2023

From Kurt Shanebeck:


Outdoors coastal, north of Los Angeles:

Barkeria spectabilis

Epiphyte native to Southern Mexico and Central America. Growing mounted and bright.

Oncidium hastilabium

South American epiphyte. Growing potted in bark with moderately bright light

Bulbophyllum taiwanense

Epiphyte native toTaiwan. Small creeping plant growing mounted, shady and moist.

Dendrobium loddigesii

Native to China and Southeast Asia. Growing potted in bark with moderate light.

Dendrobium unicum

Epiphyte from Southeast Asia. Brilliant orange flowers with an unusual veined lipGrowing mounted and bright

Dendrobium victoria-reginae

Native to the Philippines. Growing potted in bark with moderate light and plenty of water.

Elleanthus amethystinus

Terrestrial with thin canes native to South America. Growing potted in bark with bright light.

Encyclia cordigera

Found in Mexico, Central and South America. Generally considered a Hot to warm grower, however has done very well for me—temperatures as low as 33 degrees haven’t seemed to bother it. Growing potted in bark with bright light.

Epidendrum bianthogastrium

Lithophyte native to Columbia and Ecuador. Fast growing and flush blooming with 2 green flowers at the apex of each growth. Growing potted in moss with moderate light

Oncidium naevium

Cloud forest species from Columbia and Venezuela. Attractive spotted flowers. Growing potted in bark with moderate light.

Masdevallia veitchiana

Native to high elevations in Peru. After suffering a near-death experience in last years heat wave plant seem to be recovering. Growing potted in bark with bright light.

Vanda tricolor

Native to Java. Potted in bark and given bright light.


From Chris Ehrler:


Coastal, California Central Coast

Dendrobium hancockii

A hot to cool growing epiphytic found at an elevation of 200 to 1600 meters in southern China on tree trunks. This orchid is growing in a clay pot filled with bark and lava rock. Currently growing in a cool greenhouse but has grown well outside in past years.

Pleurothallis scurrula

A cold growing epiphyte found in Peru at elevations around 2200 to 2400 meters. Growing a cool greenhouse mounted to a piece of wood with a small amount of sphagnum moss on the roots. Grown by Chris Ehrler.

Dendrobium thyrsiflorum

Native to the Chinese Himalayas, Hainan China, Assam India, eastern Himalayas, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam at elevations of 1200 to 2000 meters. Is a cool growing epiphyte, lithophyte, or terrestrial species. This orchid is growing in a plastic pot filled with bark and lava rock with the pot being placed outside under a wood lath cover. For unknown reasons this year this orchid only produced one spike in June while last year it produced four spikes in March.

Dracula barrowii 'Kathy' AM/AOS

A cool to cold growing epiphyte which was grown and described from a plant in England that came from Peru, although this species has not been found again in Peru. This orchid is growing in a cool greenhouse in a mesh pot filled with sphagnum moss.

Masdevallia caesia

A cool to cold growing species found in southwestern Colombia in cloud forests at elevations of 1600 to 2200 meters. It is a pendant species which produces flowers with an odd odor. Generally it blooms in March but it is blooming in June this year. Grows in a mesh pot filled with sphagnum moss that is hung outside under a wood lath cover.


Masdevallia caudata

A cool to cold growing epiphyte found in Colombia and western Venezuela at altitudes of 1800 to 3300 meters. This orchid is growing in a cool greenhouse in a clay pot filled with sphagnum moss.

Masdevallia lappifera

A cool growing epiphyte found at an elevation of 1,200 meters in Ecuador. This orchid is growing in a cool greenhouse in a clay pot filled with sphagnum moss.

Scaphosepalum gibberosa

A cool growing epiphyte found at elevations of 1600 to 2000 meters in Colombia. This orchid is growing mounted on a piece of wood with some sphagnum moss over the roots. The mount is hanging in a cool greenhouse.


From James Lockman:


All plants grown outside, inland San Diego County, on a protected patio with 40% shade or more.

Heat is regulated with an AquaFog unit. Water is reverse osmosis treated. Cold is regulated in winter, maintained at 36 deg F. or higher, though hours below 40 deg F. are uncommon.

Almost all of the Dendrobiums that I grow are kept dry November-April, some with occassional misting on dry days.

Losses to either cold or heat are minimal, though cold/heat stress may affect certain species.

Aspasia sylvana

Capanemia superflua
(Syn. Capanemia uliginosa)

Chysis limminghei

Dendrobium aphyllum

Dendrobium devonianum

Schoenorchis gemmata

Dendrobium loddigesii

Dendrobium transparens

Oncidium (Odontoglossum) constrictum

Oncidium leucochilum

Phalaenopsis (Sedirea) japonica

Dendrobium linawianum ‘Carolyn’ HCC/AOS



From Scott McGregor:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California

Angraecum germinyanum

Any easy grower, although sometimes shy to flower when grown outdoors.  Best mounted so that it can grow out and downward.

Capenemia uliginosa/superflua

Puchased as Capenemia uliginosa, some say it is synonymous with C. superflua.  I really like the tiny fragrant crystalline flowers but can be a bit tricky to keep happy.  Best grown as a “twig epiphyte”; i.e. mounted, bright, watered frequently but allowed to dry between waterings.

Angraecum urschianum

Tiny but cute Angraecum from Madagascar that has a fantastic flower to plant size ratio.  Thought I brushed off all the aphids but, oh well…

Cattleya (Laelia) harpophylla


Cleisocentrum species

A very blue unidentified species (not gokusingii or merrillianum) of this vandaceous genus.  Our cool Spring weather has contributed to the deeper color this year.

Dendrobium hancockii

Graceful and fragrant, with 2” yellow flowers on thin arching bamboo-like canes.

 Sadly, my veiled chameleon “Jeffrey” passed away earlier this year, but the good news is that I now get to enjoy the flowers of this species.  Jeffrey would systematically devour every D. hancockii bud just before it opened.  Not sure why he was uniquely attracted to this species.

Domingoa (Nageliella) angustifolia

A fun, easy grower, that re-blooms on old flower spikes (don’t cut them!).  Tiny flowers, but cheerful and blooms over a long time period. 

Epidendrum lacustre
'Wow Fireworks' AM/AOS

Roberta showed this dramatic species last month, and this plant is a division of hers, but has alas suffered from neglect and become a monster!  A very vigorous grower, and after the 7-8 spikes are done blooming, it will get the repotting it deserves!


Leptotes bicolor

This is a so-so clone of the typical L. bicolor—the 4N varieties are much prettier with larger and better structured flowers.  This species is unusual in that it shares seed pod chemistry with Vanilla, so you can pollinate this for your own tiny “vanilla beans”.

Pholidota chinensis

Fragrant flowers on pendant spikes that first open at the end of the spike.  Easy grower (and quickly needs to be divided/repotted).

Schoenorchis juncifolia

A graceful vandaceous species from Borneo with wisteria-like hanging flowers.  A large plant almost always has a flower spike or two in bloom.

Fernandezia maculata

A fussy and challenging twig epiphyte that best grows mounted, breezy and bright.  Really pretty red/orange/yellow flowers, although quite a mini.

Eulophia speciosa

This is a fabulous species for outdoor growing here in Southern CA (thanks, Roberta!).  It is happy in a pot of sand and some direct sunlight.  The spikes are just starting to open sequentially and will remain in bloom for many months.

Bulbophyllum wendlandianum

This is one of my favorite Bulbophyllums.  It happily grows and flowers outdoors, branches but stays compact as it covers its mount, it is floriferous, and best of all—the flowers are fantastically colored and shaped with appendages dangling and fluttering in the breeze.

Diplocaulobiums - Watermelon Day!

Diplocaulobium arachnoides on the left and D. aratiferum ‘Watermelon Rind” on the right. Both smell intensely of watermelon. Interesting combination with the coconut from my Maxillaria tenuifolia which is also in bloom.


From Roberta Fox:


Outside in the Back Yard:

Angraecum equitans

Native to Madagascar, at elevations up to around 2000 m. Flower is quite large relative to the plant.


Angraecum germinyanum

Native to Madagascar, from the central plateau region, elevations 900-1500 m. This area can get down to near freezing in winter. This plant is very vigorous, having several growths extending far outside its basket with roots in the air. These are the growths that produce the flowers, which float freely.

Cattleya mossiae f. semi-alba

Two cultivars. The one on the left has better form and more flowers, but only a light fragrance. The one on the right is a bit wonky, but extremely fragrant. This is the national flower of Venezuela. It grows at elevations from 900-1500 m, so is quite cold-tolerant. The typical form is lavender.

Warczewiczella (Cochleanthes) discolor

Native to Central America and northern South America. Typical elevations 1200-1850 m, but can grow as high as 2300 m.

Coelogyne speciosa

Native to Java, Sumatra, Borneo at elevations 750-1800 m. Each inflorscence can produce several flowers sequentioally,

Dendrobium thyrsiflorum or amabile or ??

Label says Den. thyrsiflorum but everything that I can find about that one is that the segments are white or cream. The segments on this one are uniformly pale pink - appear much more pink to the eye than the photo shows. Both species produce the inflorescence quite rapidly, it appears almost from nowhere, then it quickly elongates and blooms.

Den. aphyllum var. latifolium (Den. pierardii)

Delicate flowers emerge from leafless canes. (New growth just starting to emerge.) As I mentioned last month, I don't keep my deciduous Dendrobiums dry in winter (this year they got rained on a LOT), and they bloom anyway. Winter cold seems to be all the trigger that they need. This one is found over a wide area of southeast Asia and southern China, elevations 1000-1800 m.

Dendrobium crepidatum

Himalaya, southeast Asia, Yunnan province of China, elevations to 2100 m.

Dendrobium dickasonii

Same geographical range... brilliant flowers appearing from dead-looking canes.


Dendrobium wilsonii

Southern and south-central China. There are so many beautiful species of deciduous, high-elevation cool-growing Dendrobiums, which grow very well in southern California.


Dendrobium unicum

Northern southeast Asia, elevations 1000-1500 m.

Dendrobium papilio (large flower form)

Native to the Philippines, elevations 1400-2200 m. Scott showed you a beautiful blooming of these last month. As he noted, this form tends to be less floriferous than the smaller flower form, but this year I also got multiple flowers when it first bloomed. Now, I'm getting them one at a time, but extending the bloom time. These are nearly 4 inches. They float on thin, flexible, leafless canes. Like their namsake, the butterfly.


Dendrobium tetragonum

An Australian native. It can bloom multiple times during the year from the tips of these aptly-named 4-sided canes that have a square rather than round cross section.

Diplocaulobium (Dendrobium) stelliferum

Last month I showd you Diplocaulobium aratriferum, which blooms and closes within a day but can bloom every few weeks or months. Diplocaulobium stelliferum flowers last 3 or 4 days but there are fewer of them, and for me it blooms only once a year. So there's the trade-off. Floriferous, frequent but ephemeral, or longer-lasting but fewer flowers and infrequent. Why choose, grow both of them!

Dracula benedictii

From Colombia. Small, long lasting flowers emerging all around the base of the plant. They don't collapse in the heat of the day the way the larger ones do. Some flowers emerge from side of the basket but most are at the top.


Dracula venosa

Native to Colombia and Ecuador. First time this one has bloomed for me.


Prosthechea (Encyclia) vitellina

Native to Central America and southern Mexico, elevation 1400-2600 m. It grows well near the coast, but probably would have problems with heat farther inland. In habitat, it experiences summer days in the low 70's F, with nights around 50, cooler in winter. Clearly it has adapted to temperatures that are somewhat warmer. It can continue to open flowers over several months, with the inflorescence continuing to elongate. Last year, by the time it finished blooming at the end of September, the inflorescence was about 18 inches long.

Encyclia maculosa (Prosthechea guttata)

Native to southern Mexico. It continues to produce these odd spiky little flowers sequentially for most of the year, being out of bloom for only 2 or 3 months in winter.

Epidendrum parkinsonianum

Native to southern Mexico and Central America. Flowers are night-fragrant. This species needs to be grown mounted, since the flexible growths, with their heavy, succulent leaves hang downward.

Epidendrum falcatum

Closely related to Epi. parkinsonianum, mostly growing in southern Mexico. Leaves hang downward, but are not as long as those of Epi. parkinsonianum, and are just as likely to grow sideways as downward. The growths are extremely brittle, breaking off with only a light touch. This makes growing a large plant difficult to impossible, but the broken-off growths root easily. I try not to move it, but sometimes it still gets bumped when I move the plant next to it, and I end up with more bits. This is probably one of the ways that it propagates.

Epidendrum globiflorum

Native to Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru at elevations 2400-3400 m. It has adapted well to the warmer climate in my back yard, but likely would be harder to grow farther inland. It produces many keikis, all of which can bloom with these cute little flowers. It outgrew its original mount, so I tied to it a larger stick and now it well attached throughout its length.

Epigeneium (Dendrobium) fargesii

Chinese Himalayas, Bhutan, Thailand, Tawan at elevations 1200-1775 m. The backs of the flowers have marbled striping that looks like it was brushed on. Named for the French missionary-botanist Paul Gillaume Farges, pronounced "Far-zhey-i" .

Epidendrum (Dendrobium) fargesii, another cultivar

This one is from Yunnan, China. A different color form.

Eulophia speciosa

From a wide area of eastern and southern Africa. This year, the spike is developing very slowly, just starting to accelerate as the days become a bit brighter and warmer, but still many buds to open. This can bloom for several months, so you may see it again next month. It has lots of new growths (probably due to all the rain it received last winter), which may lead to many more spikes in the future. I will try to keep it a bit drier this winter, to perhaps favor spikes over more new growth.

Jumellea teretifolia

Native to Madagascar, elevations 1300-2000 m. Many members of the genus come from low elevations and need warmth, but this one is fine outdoors. It is a miniature plant, only about 4 inches tall. It has an excellent flower-to-plant ratio.

Maxillaria minuta

From Brazil. It lives up to its diminutive name. Flowers are about 1 cm, 3/8 inch.

Maxillaria pachyphylla

Not impressive to look at, but very fragrant. Clearly its polinator prefers olfactory charms to visual ones. Native to Bolivia and southeastern Brazil.

Octomeria praestans

Native to south and southeast Brazil. A growth can rebloom several times over a year or two. Flowers emerge where the terete leaf joins the narrow pseudobulb.

Maxillaria scalariformis

I'm never sure whether this belongs in the "outoors" or "greenhouse" section. I have lost several to crown rot when they were outside for the winter, they do much better for me in the greenhouse in the coldest, wettest months. But they bloom mostly when they're outdoors which is where they spend most of the year. This one bloomed only after it was moved outside. It also blooms in the fall. Andy Phillips grows them successfully outdoors in an exposed area, in a very similar climate so I don't know what might be the difference. It needs to be kept very wet. Native to Panama.

Oncidium (Odontoglossum) naevium

Native to Colombia and Venezuela, elevation 1200-2000 m. Segments are twisty and ruffled. Very rare in the wild. I feel privileged to be able to cultivate it.

Oncidium harrisonianum

Native to souteastern Brazil, elevation 1000-1100 m. This floriforous little plant seems to be rather bullet-proof. Leaves are very hard, 1/2 inch flowers are plentiful. It has no moss on the cork slab, is very tolerant of drying out. I have had it for about 15 years. It gets RO water now but grew fine without it.

Renanthera pulchella

Native to Mynamar. I can't find any additional information about it. It surely lives up to its name "beautiful". It is a small plant, only about 6 inches tall with spike longer than plant. The fact that it grows well outside does imply that it comes from relatively high elevation.

In the greenhouse...

Phalaenopsis lueddemanniana

Native to the Philippines

Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi

Native to a wide area, from Bangladesh through southeast Asia to Borneo and Java. Spikes can bloom for several years, usually one flower at a time. As the individual flowers drop, the inflorescences acquire a "scallop" appearance. The flowers have heavy substance and a shiny, waxy surface. There is considerable variation in color, from yellow with brown stripes to pure red like this one. There is also an aurea form with no red pigment at all. Don't cut spikes until they are flat and light brown and clearly dead! It also tends to make new basal growths, forming a clump. So as the plant matures, there are more and more active spikes.