March 2024


From Kurt Shanebeck:


Outdoors coastal, north of Los Angeles:

Cattleya (Sophronitis) mantiqueirae

Small Brazilian epiphyte with bright red flowers. Growing mounted with bright light.

Ceratostylis philippinensis

Epiphyte from the Philippines with terete leaves and small white flowers. Growing mounted and bright.

Comparettia macroplectron

Epiphyte from Colombia at elevation to 2000m. Growing mounted with moderately bright light.

Dendrobium pugioniforme

Australian epiphyte with long wiry stems. Growing mounted with bright light.

Dinema polybulbon

Native to Mexico and Central America. Creeping growth habit. Growing mounted with bright light.

Epidendrum porphyreum

Found in Ecuador and Columbia as an epiphyte or terrestrial at elevations of 1800-3900m. Growing potted with bright light.

Gomesa recurva

Epiphyte or terrestrial from Brazil. Growing potted with moderately bright light.

Masdevallia polysticta

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

Maxillaria sophronitis

Native to Venezuela and Columbia at elevations of 750-1700m. Growing mounted with bright light.

Oncidium cheirophorum

A small plant native to Mexico and Central America at elevation of 1000-2500m

Ophrys tenthredinifera

Mediterranean terrestrial species. Growing potted in pumice with coconut coir and given bright light.

Schoenorchis brevirachis

A small Vietnamese epiphyte. Growing mounted with bright light.


From Arnold Markman:


Intermediate Greenhouse, coastal San Diego area

Daily watering unless otherwise noted.

Coelygyne cristata

Watered every 2-3 days

Dendrochilum wenzelii

Mounted plant a division of the potted one.

Cattleya (Laelia) lundii

This species is unusual compared to related species in that it has two leaves from most pseudobulbs.. Likely the only two-leafed Laelia in found in Brazil. (Ed: However, now classified as Cattleya, there are many bifoliate Cattleya species, of course.)

Mediocalcar decoratum


Pleurothallis tuerkheimii

Pleurothallis ornata

Schoenorchis juncifolia

Gongora scaphephorus


From Scott McGregor:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California


Ada (Brassia) aurantiaca

Saturated orange flowers to brighten the winter days!


Bonatea speciosa

A spectacular African terrestrial that grows from large underground tubers. Best potted in a sandy mix, so the tubers can grow and expand to the size of potatoes, and given at least a few hours of full sun. The flowers are highly fragrant at night, and fluoresce red under 365nm ultraviolet light. The leaves die back after flowering and new growths emerge. This specimen is in a 20” pot.

Cattleya (Sophronitis) coccinea 4N

Opening a few flowers at a time, these bright red flowers brighten the winter orchid collection. The flowers grow about 50% larger as they open over a couple days as you can see in the second pic with a larger flower and a smaller, newly opened flower. These pictures were taken on an iPhone, which like most consumer-grade cameras, oversaturates the reds to make faces look nicer but completely oversaturates on these flowers!

Dinema polybulbon 'Golden Gate'

A fast-growing creeping plant. Seems less than typically floriferous this year for some reason.

Maxillaria elatior

A very robust and vertical 3’ plant growing in a 2” pot. The flowers emerge from the base of the leaves.

Pterostylis curta

Mine seem to be moving very slowly this year, producing flowers over a longer time rather than a flush bloom.


Restrepia antennifera 'Type A'

Restrepias love this year’s rainy weather!  This is a spotted variety of R. antennifera with relatively large flowers.

Dendrochilum wenzelii 'Red Sails'

A  reliable red Dendrochilum that looks nice even when not in bloom.  The plant is about 24” in diameter.

Satyrium coriifolium

A (relatively) easy-growing Mediterraneum-climate terrestrial from the southwestern tip of South Africa. I have some NBS seedlings of S. rosea that are two years out of flask, and a primary hybrid between S. rosea and S. coriifolium that are growing well I hope will bloom next year.


From Roberta Fox:

Coastal southern California

Outside in the Back Yard:

Brassia (Ada) aurantiaca

These flowers look especially brilliant on cloudy days. Flowers don't open fully, the inflorescences look like flames. This year, 10 spikes.

Brassia (Ada) brachypus

With opposite "personality", this little Brassia tends to hide among the leaves. It is a charming miniature.

Brassia (Ada) rolandoi

This member of the genus is persistent. Flowers aren't flashy, but they're long lasting (about 6 weeks), first 5 spikes are just finishing, there are 3 or 4 more just opening.


Bulbophyllum hamatipes

Native to Java at a range of elevations up to 1800 m. It grows vigorously on a mount (so clearly can handle some drying), outdoors so it can handle cold. Would it bloom better if warmer? Maybe. But it seems to be thriving.


Cattleya loddigesii

This plant tolerates whatvever nature throws its way. it has mostly escaped the wood basket, is growing more like a mounted plant. Flowers are particularly flat and shapely.

Dendrochilum parvulum

This miniature has a great flower-to-plant ratio. Leaves are about 2 inches, the plant grows on a 4 inch mount and almost forms a ball. It is a flower machine. Native to the Philippines at around 1200 m, cool temperature clearly don't bother it.

Diplocaulobium aratriferum

I have shown this mysterious plant before, but each time it produces a flush bloom I get very excited. There is the anticipation as the buds emerge quite suddenly. The blooms last only 4-6 hours so don't blink, you may miss it! And often (but not always) my plant and Scott's two plants bloom at exactly the same time though they're located some 30 miles apart. Scott and I have tried to determine some pattern - temperature, air pressure, phase of the moon... each time we think we have figured it out, there is an exception that reminds us that correlation does not necessarily imply causation. The mystery continues. But the watermelon fragrance is wonderful and it never ceases to thrill.

Diuris orientis

The spring-bloomng Mediterranean-climate terrestrials are growing vigoriously. This "donkey orchid" comes from eastern Australia, as its name implies.

Pterostylis curta

This Australian terrestrial has been in bloom for awhile. It comes from a ripaian habitat, and has a much shorter dormancy than the other Australian terrestrials that I grow. The tubers will get repotted in mid-July, and start receiving a bit of water by the end of July or early August while the other terrestrials won't get watered until October.


Ophrys cretica (ariadne)

This was the first of my European terrestrials to bloom. It is native to Crete (as the name implies) and Aegean islands.

Ophrys tenthredinifera

This is one of my favorites with its lovely contrasting colors. It is native to many of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean. (Compare with the one that Kurt shows to see some of the color variation of the species.)


Epidendrum purum

This plant is very vigorous. It is native to Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia at a range of elevations from 500 to 2800 m. Basically, it can grow just about anywhere in southern California.


Lycaste virginalis (skinneri)

This is the best blooming that I have had in many years. I think it really liked the wet, cool weather from both last year and now. Flowers are very long-lasting, nearly 2 months.

Pholidota cantonensis

The plant rambles over the surface of a hapu'u plaque, and each growth can produce these little inflorescences. Flowers are reminiscent of Dendrochilum. (OK, they're all Coelogynes now...) It is native to Tawan and several provinces of mainland China, over a wide range of elevations.

Pseudolaelia freyi

In Brazil, these grow up the sides of Vellozia bushes. The large hapu'u slab serves that purpose here. The pot was a place to start the division, may contain a few roots, but most of the plant is in the air.

Pleurothallis alvaroi

Relatively large and colorful flowers for the genus. They are also relatively long-lasting.

Pleurothallis rowleei

Lots of flowers in a flush bloom, but they are qute short-lived.

Rodriguezia decora

This is a keiki machine, rambling over a hapu'u slab. Each growth can produce these intricate flowers.

Scaphosepalum beluosum

The base of the plant is covered with these complex little flowers. Each inflorescence can produce many flowers sequentially, so one should not try to to "tidy it up". Just wait until the old spikes are brittle enough to be easilly snapped off.

Trichocentrum canvendishianum

This is one of the relatively few Trichocentrum ("mule-ear Oncidium") species that comes from higher elevations and grows relatively cool. I have found it to be a rather shy bloomer, but seeems to be finally blooming at least every couple of years. (I grew it for 12 years to get first bloom!) It was well worth the wait. The plant doesn't take up a lot of room, and the flowers have heavy, almost waxy susbstance. It is native to central and southern Mexico, into El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, at elevations 1500-2800 m,


In the greenhouse...


Bulb. lasiochilum

From South-Central China. Myanmar and Thailand, elevation range is reported to be 1200-1500 m, so it would probably do fine outside. It grows and blooms nicely in the greenhouse, but it may be a candiate for moving outside.

Cattleya lueddemanniana

This is one of the very few Cattleyas that I grow that needs a greenhouse. It isn't petite. But it is so pretty, it justifies the space required. Each flower is 6-7 incnes, and this blooming gave me 6 of them.

Chiloschista sweelimii

Native to Malaya, this leafless orchid needs both warmth and humidity. The roots house the chloroplasts that provide photosynthesis for the plant.

Clowesia rosea

Like the rest of my Catasetinae, this one spends most of the year outside, but moves into the greenhouse once night temperatures drop below about 55 deg. F. This is a first-bloom seedling, just a baby. It blooms when it is completely dry and dormant. After the flowers fade, new growth will start, it will be another couple of months before it ready for water and for moving outside. It has a lovely spicy fragrance. It's the dominant parent of Cl. Rebecca Northen, and I had both in bloom at the same time so I could compare their fragrances - the hybrid has notes of citrus, a bit different.

Cymbidium canaliculatum

The culture for this species is different than for most Cymbidiums. It comes from northern Australia, from a warm and seasonally dry climate. It will spend the warmer months outside, but in winter it moves into the greenhouse with the Catasetinae. It isn't kept quite as dry as those, but watering is significantly reduced, no more than every 2 weeks or so.

Phalaenopsis tetraspis (Syn. speciosa)

Each flower is unique, any combination from pure white to pure red, in blotches or solid color, on any combination of segments. It blooms repeatedly from each inflorescence, so as the plant matures and adds new spikes, it can produce more flowers simultaneously, or at different times.

Warczewiczella (Cochleanthes) wailesiana

I can't find much information about this one other than it is from Brazil. I don't know anything about its elevation range, but it is growing and blooming well in the greenhouse, so there it stays. It is very fragrant.

Trigonidium egertonianum

Blooms several times a year, and with each blooming produces flowers over a period of 6-8 weeks. Native to southern Mexico and much of Central America. It has been lumped into Maxillaria.