December 2023


From Kurt Shanebeck:


Outdoors coastal, north of Los Angeles:

Barkeria lindleyana v vanneriana

OSPE has this as a Mexican lithophyte occurring at elevations of 950-2000m. Growing mounted with bright light.

Cattleya praestans

Brazilian epiphyte growing at 700-900m. Growing mounted with bright light.

Cattleya pumila

Brazilian epiphyte growing at 600-1300m. Growing potted in bark with bright light.

Coelogyne fimbriata

Native to China and Southeast Asia found at elevations of sea level to 1500m as an epiphyte or lithophyte. Growing potted with moderately bright light.

Coelogyne mooreana

From the cloud forests of Vietnam at elevations of 1300-2000m. Growing mounted with moderately bright light.

Gomesa radicans

Epiphyte from Brazil with grass-like leaves, and profuse flush blooms. Growing potted with moderately bright light.

Cyrtorchis arcuata

Widespread in Africa at elevations of 600-2500m. Growing potted with bright light.

Dendrobium victoria-reginae

Native to the Philippines. Growing potted with moderately bright light and frequent water.

Gomesa colorata

Epiphyte from Brazil. Growing mounted and shady.

Gomesa longipes

Epiphyte from Brazil, Peru and Paraguay. Growing mounted and shady.

Isabelia virginalis

Brazilian species with unusual basket-like fibers around the pseudobulb. Growing mounted with bright light.

Laelia x gouldiana

Mexican species first described in 1888, but has never been observed in the wild. Now confirmed as a hybrid by DNA analysis, but unconfirmed if it was a naturally occurring hybrid. Growing potted and bright.

Masdevallia paivaeana

Epiphyte or lithophyte from Peru and Bolivia at elevations of 2450-2750m. Growing mounted and shady.

Miltonia clowesii

Epiphyte from Brazil. Growing potted with bright light.


Masdevallia polysticta

From Ecuador and Peru at elevations of 1600-3000m. Growing potted and shady.

Prosthechea radiata

From Central America at elevations of 150-2000m. Growing potted with bright light.

Oncidium constrictum

From Venezuela, Columbia and Ecuador at elevations of 1800-2300m. Growing potted in moss with moderate light.

Oncidium forbesii

Epiphyte from Brazil at elevations of 50-1200m. Growing mounted with bright light.



From Scott McGregor:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California

Aeranthes ramosa

Most Aeranthes species like warmer conditions that we have outdoors, but A. ramosa is an exception.  The long-lasting, waxy green flowers appear in succession on wiry scapes over many months.  It likes shade so sits under the bench, which means that flowers are often missed like this one that is past its prime.

Coelogyne mooreana
'Brockhurst' AM/AOS FCC/RHS

One of the best Coelogyne species because it stays compact and has large flowers.

Bulbophyllum pardalotum

Easy grower with flowers that open briefly in the mornings, close by noon and reopen on successive days for a couple weeks.

Maxillaria dillonii

Blooms 4-5 times per year with large flowers (for a Maxillaria).  Large-ish plant, but stays compact.

Restrepia species (antennifera)

Restrepia species, probably antennifera. Yeah, I know, two aphids that I only spotted as I cropped the pic!

Miltonia moreliana 'Laurie' HCC/AOS

A month later, still in fabulous bloom, at the end of November.

From Scott: "This was shown last month, but it got an HCC/AOS at the recent San Diego show. I took it in as an example for my talk and they persuaded me to take it over to the judges who had nothing to do as no one else brought in any plants to judge.  They said it would have also gotten a CCM but that the flowers were water-spotted since I didn’t bother to keep them pristine.  They asked for a clonal name and so ‘Laurie’ was the first thing that came to mind." (Ed.: Spouse ... What a gorgeous namesake!)


Eulophia speciosa

One of the last of 78 sequentially opening flowers, blooming since late May until the end of November!

Isochilus sp "OZ" (Columbia), probably major

Sold as species “OZ” from Columbia, probably major or a similar species


From Roberta Fox:

Coastal southern California

Outside in the Back Yard:

Acianthera (Pleurothallis) ochreata

Thick, succulent leaves, this species grows lithophytically in rocky areas of eastern Brazil, elevations 800-1500 m. I grow it in mostly gravel with just a bit of organic in full sun, like the rupiculous Laelias.

Cattleya labiata f. coerulea

Cattleya labiata f. alba

The C. labiata f. coerulea is line bred, with 6-7 inch flowers. The flowers on the alba are about 5 inches. Grown with only a bit of overhead protection from the rain. Plants are smaller than those that other people grow in the greenhouse, but they seem to have no problem with chilly nights. Native to southern Brazil, elevations 500-1000 m. I learned about their cold-tolerance from Steve Champlin of Floralia Orchids. He assured me that they would do fine outdoors where I live, and he was right! They grow much better for me outside than they did in the greenhouse.

Cattleya percivaliana 'Summit'

A sure sign that the holidays are just around the corner, my first C. percivaliana of the season. Flowers are long-lasting. Native to Colombia and Venezuela, elevations 1400-2000 m.

Cattleya (Laelia) pumila

First bloom, I hope that future bloomings have better presentation. But the colors and velvety lip are spectaclar. Flower is as big as the plant.

Cymbidium dayanum (variegated leaf)

Typical Cymbidium dayanum flowers, but lovely variegated foliage.

Dendrobium hookerianum

Native to Nepal, northern India, and Yunnan, China. It blooms on bare canes. As with most of the rest of my deciduous and semi-deciduous Dendrobiums, it doesn't get dried out in winter, but the cold seems to be adequate to be considered "rest". In their habitat, they may not get much rain in winter, but it's humid and so they get overnight dew.



Dendrochilum cootesii

Native to the Phiippines, at elevations 1200-2000 m. Flowers are relatively large for the genus, on a small plant. That is a 4 inch pot, for scale


Diplocaulobium (Dendrobium) aratriferum

When these bloom you had better be paying attention... flowers last less than a day. It can flush bloom several times a year and pop a few flowers more often. The timing is a mystery. Often (but not always) Scott's Diplocaulobiums bloom on the same day as mine. We have looked for patterns in the weather or lunar phase, so far no pattern has emerged. This month I got two flush blooms. Flowers have the fragrance of watermelon.

Epidendrum quisayanum

Flowers are only about 3/8 inch, but brilliant in color, and there are lots of them. Mat-lke growth habit. It is native to Ecuador at elevations 1300-3300 m. I suspect that it grows better in the cooler coastal area than it would inland.

Holcoglossum kimballianum

I have had difficulty with this species in the past, but this plant is growing very well, with long, vigorous roots. This is its first bloom. Thank you Ed Lyszczek! It grows in a wood basket with little medium. Native to southern China and southeast Asia, elevation 1200-1500 m.


Isochilus sp.

When purchased, it was labeled as coming from Colombia. However, that location is uncertain. It could also be from Central America. It is extremely vigorous and floriforous. The flowers tend to self-pollinate, so after blooming I'll have seed pods at the end of each growth. It is blooming very early this year, usually blooms in January.

Laelia anceps f. lineata 'Disciplinata

First L. anceps of the season. I find the stripe patterns fascinating. They extend to the petal margins, almost as if the patterns were applied with a brush that stretched the petals where the color was "applied". It also tends to be slighly peloric, with a light yellow stripe on one petal or both, reminiscent of the bright yellow throat. It's not virused, that's just the color pattern. Native to Mexico.


Laelia gouldiana

The flowers have a crystalline luster in the sun, with intense color saturation, Another Mexican species.

Laelia superbiens

Not a miniature. Spike is 3-4 feet long or more. From southern Mexico, into Guatemala and Honduras.

Maxillaria scalariformis

I will move this into the greenhouse during the coldest months of winter. It blooms best outside, blooming in both spring and fall, but I have lost several growing it completely outside. Andy Phillips (Andy's Orchids) does grow these outside throughout the year, my climate is very similar, but I have not been able to figure out what is different in the nursery. It does need to stay very wet - I grow it in sphagnum. It is native to Panama, at elevations from 1000-1300 m. (IOSPE) so it really should grow outside. But I can't bear to kill another one.

Maxillaria sophronitis

A flower machine. It produces several flush blooms each year. It extends far beyond its 6 inch basket, and seems quite happy mostly growing in air. Flowers are only about 1/2 inch, but their brilliant color contrasts with the dark green leaves. In the sun, it almost glows.

Maxillaria variabilis 'Black Eyed Susan'

This species lives up to its name - flowers range from yellow to red (with or without gold tips) to this nearly black form. It grows vigorously.


Pelatantheria insectifera

Native to a wide area of northern India and Bangladesh, Himalayas and southeast Asia, at elevations 200-1000 m. It produces flowers along stems that branch in various directions, with roots mostly in the air. Flowers are about 3/8 inch, long lasting. Blooming lasts several months, with additional flower clusters appearing throughout the interval.


Pterostylis x furcillata
Natural hybrid (Pterostylis ophioglossa x Pterostylis alveata)

While my Pterostylis curta plants are just getting started, this Pterostylis natural hybrid emerged and bloomed much earlier. The spike is about 9 inches, with leaves widely spaced. There are no leaves visible at the base of the spike. There are two other growths in the pot, with leaves but no spike. It'll be interesting to see whether tihe growth with the spike produceas a tuber. The flower is very translucent - note that you can clearly see the black background through the flower. An insect pollinater would see daylight through the "windows".

Dendrobium rindjaniense

Typically blooms twice a year, on the bare canes. The bumpy canes can bloom multiple times. As the plant matures, the bloomings get better and better. For scale, it's in a 4 inch bsket. It is native to the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, at elevations around 2000 m, so it is definitely a cool grower,

Maxillaria ubatubana

A flower machine. Flowers are similar to Max. picta, but it blooms in the fall. It is native to southeastern Braxil.

Laelia furfuracea

Typical form on the right, alba above. Native to southwest Mexico, in the state of Oaxaca at elevations 2100-3000 m.

Ceratochilus biglandulosus
(Trichoglottis biglandulosa)

I showed this one a few months ago, but this time the flower presentation was better, and I got a much better photo. The flower is nearly 1 inch, on a tiny plant. The texture is crystalline, and somewhat translucent. It looks fragile, but can last 4-6 weeks. It produces a new flower after the old one fades. It is native to Java at elevations 1000-2000 m.

In the greenhouse...

Phalaenopsis (Doritis) pulcherrima

Petals are very reflexed. If one catches it just as the flowers open, they re more flat, but this is what it wants to do. Little birds?


Laelia aurea

A close relative of L. rubescens (next month), but this species needs to be kept a bit warmer. Native to northwestern Mexico at elevations of 100-300 m. Flowers are rather short-lived.