May 2024


From Kurt Shanebeck:


Outdoors coastal, north of Los Angeles:

Cattleya blumenscheinii
(Laelia gracilis, Laelia cardimii)

A Brazilian epiphyte growing potted with bright light.


Cattleya (Laelia) jongheana

A compact Brazilian epiphyte with large (6”) flowers. Growing mounted with bright light.


Cattleya (Laelia) mantiquierae

A small Brazilian epiphyte with bright flowers. Growing mounted with bright light.

Cuitlauzina dubia (Osmoglossum dubium)

Species from higher elevations (1500-2200m) in Mexico. Growing mounted with moderately bright light.

Cymbidium floribundum

A smaller Cymbidium species native to Southern China at elevations of 400-3300m where is grows as an epiphyte, lithophyte or terrestrial.

Dendrobium nobile v. cooksianum

Native to the Himalayas and Southeast Asia at elevations of 200-2000m. This is a peloric form.


Dendrobium linguiforme

An Australian epiphyte or lithophyte with a creeping habit and tongue shaped leaves. Growing mounted with bright light.

Dendrobium falcorostrum

An Australian epiphyte whose name derives from the shape of the middle part of the lip which is said to resemble the shape of a falcon’s beak. Growing potted with bright light.

Maxillaria arbuscula

Terrestrial species from Peru and Ecuador at elevations of 1500-3100m.

Mediocalcar pygmaeum

Native to montane forests in New Guinea at elevations of 1200-2800m. Growing mounted with bright light.

Oncidium ghiesbrechtiana

Epiphyte or lithophyte native to Mexico at elevations of 1400-2300m. Growing mounted with bright light.

Oncidium tigroides

Peruvian epiphyte found at elevations around 1800m. Growing mounted and shady.

Ophrys ferrum-equinum

Terrestrial species native to Greece and Turkey, Growing potted with bright light.

Polystachya ottoniana

Native to Southern Africa where it grows primarily as an epiphyte. Growing mounted and shady.

Prosthechea bueraremensis

Growing potted with bright light,

Prosthechea faresiana

Lithophyte from Brazil at elevations of 1000-1500m. Growing mounted with bright light.

Growing indoors under LED lights

Bulbophyllum dearii

Native to Borneo, Malaysia and the Phillipines, primarily growing as an epiphyte at elevations of 700-1200m. Growing potted under bright light.

Gongora fulva

Native to Columbia growing as an epiphyte at elevations of 400-900m/ Growing potted with moderate light.

Tolumnia variegata

A small Caribbean epiphyte found at elevations to 700m. Growing mounted under bright light.


From Chris Ehrler:


California Central Coast


Cymbidium schroederi

A cool growing plant in humus at elevations of 1,350 to 1,700 meters. This orchid is growing in a plastic pot filled with a mixture of bark and perlite. Growing outside under a lath shade structure.

Dracula janetiae

A cool growing epip[hyte found in Peru and possibly in Ecuador at elevations around 1,700 meters. This orchid is growing in a mesh pot filled with sphagnum moss that is hanging in a cool greenhouse.


Lepanthes gargoyla

A warm to cool growing epiphyte growing in Ecuador at elevations around 900 to 1,300 meters. This orchid is growing on a piece of wood with some sphagnum moss on the roots. The mount is hanging in a cool greenhouse.

Masdevallia bennettii

The literature states this is a warm growing epiphyte found in central Peru at elevations around 780 meters. But this plant is growing well in a cool greenhouse where winter night temperatures can be as low at 40F. Growing in a clay pot filled with sphagnum moss.

Xylobium leontoglossum

A cool to cold growing epiphyte and occasional terrestrial found in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru at elevations around 2,000 meters. This orchid is growing in a clay pot filled with a bark and lava rock mixture which is placed in a cool greenhouse. Leaves are about 3 feet tall.

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 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.


Maxillaria minuta's states that the currently accepted name is M. pumila. M. pumila is described in as a hot growing epiphyte occurring in Brazil and Guianas. But the orchid in the photo is growing and flowering well in a cool greenhouse. Mounted on a piece of cork oak with some moss on the roots. 

Pleurothallis flexuosa

A hot to cool growing epiphyte found at elevations of 350 to 1900 meters in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Growing in a mesh pot filled with a mixture of bark and lava rock which is in a cool greenhouse. (August)


From Arnold Markman:


Intermediate Greenhouse, coastal San Diego area

Daily watering unless otherwise noted.

Vanda nana

Dracula severa

Dracula vampira


Trichopilia tortilis

Water every 2-3 days

Dendrobium pugioniforme

Doesn’t seem to be growing much but here is a flower. I followed the”Rock Lily Man’s” advice on the internet and attached this plant at the nodes hoping it will branch. 

Dendrobium aggregatum (lindleyi)

Was not watered from mid November until mid February. Misted regularly. Finally put out a beautiful spray of flowers.

Dendrobium hancockii

Den loddigesii

Not watered from November to mid-February. It’s a challenge to mimic the “humid, mossy, mixed and coniferous forests at elevations of 1000 to 1500 meters “ in SE Asias that the IOSPE describes. I imagined that they needed frequent misting but held off on watering. This is the best year yet!


Thrixspermum sp. from Borneo

First time it’s flowered for me.

Stanhopea oculata


Platystele portillae

This is the best I could do with an iPhone, flowers only about 1 mm. Grown hanging.

Phalaenopsis malipoensis

Oncidium naevium

This plant is being grown at the eastern end of my greenhouse. It gets full morning, sun as the sun streams in through the sidewall, but as the day progresses, it is shielded by 60% shade cloth. I water it year round. This plant has seven inflorescences on it, and I advise people who come see the plant to screw their eyeballs in tightly. Otherwise they might pop out when seeing it! 


From Scott McGregor:

All orchids grown outdoors, coastal southern California

Masdevallia veitchiana 'Prince de Galle' AM/AOS

For some reason, it seems that Masdevallias don’t like me and I’ve had trouble growing them, despite lots of happy Restrepias, Draculas, Porroglossums, etc.  Kay Klausing suggested that some clones do much better than others and I got some M. veitchiana and M. coccinea clones from him to try.  A year has gone by, all the new plants are (still) happy and starting to send up spikes.  This is the first to bloom—love the color and size!

Rhyncholaelia glauca

Easy outdoor grower with long-lasting flowers

Thelymitra glaucophylla x crinita

Hard to find a sunny morning this month—the blue flowers only open on perfectly clear sunny days.

Thelymitra glaucophylla x grandiflora

Larger blue flowers from grandiflora


From Roberta Fox:

Coastal southern California

Outside in the Back Yard:

Anacamptis papilionacea

Native to a wide range of countries surrounding the Mediterranean in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. It grows under the same conditions as the rest of my Mediterranean-climate terrestrials - dry summers, watering in the fall and winter, growing in a mostly-inorganic mix.

Ophrys sp.

I received it as an Orchis, which it isn't. Evenutally I hope to get an ID. It's lovely whatever it is.

Bulbophyllum hirundinis

From Vietnam and Taiwan, it grows over a range of elevations from 500 m to 3000 m. So it grows cool, but could grow warm too. Since it grows mounted, it clearly also handles a bit of drying though it gets daily watering.

Cattleya intermedia f. coerulea

Here are three variations on the theme. Above, typical form, above right orlata, and peloric (f. aquinii) below right. The species also comes in the typical color form (magenta) in these variations and more as well as alba. From a range of elevations in Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay. It is an easy outdoor grower in southern California.

Cattleya schroederae

Delicate light pink with the brilliant egg-yolk in the throat. Flowers are about 7 inches across. Native to Colombia at elevations 1400-1600 m.

Cattleya (Laelia) jongheana

Flowers range from around 5 inches to more than 6 inches across, on plants that are about the same size. So excellent flower-to-plant ratio. Flowers are also very flat, so the presentation is exquisite. From southeastern Brazil, elevations 1300-1600 m. It thrives in the cool coastal climate.

Ceratostylis sp. (aff. backeri)

1/4 inch flowers, lots of them, and cute. One does have to pay attention, though, not to miss them. Native to Java, elevation 1500-2500 m.

Coelogyne cristata f. alba

The plant doesn't seem to like to stay in its basket, a bit rangy. But it is a lovely flower. From a wide geographical range in the Himalayas and southeast Asia.

Dendrobium papilio

This is the large-flower form, which sometimes is less floriferous than the small-flower form. But this one is the best of both - large flowers and also lots of them. The flowers emerge mostly on leafless canes that are wire-thin. Imagine these flowers floating in the breeze among jungle growth, seemingly attatched to nothing. Native to the Philppines, elevations 1400-2300 m.


Dendrobium striolatum

Australian native.

Dendrobium toressae

Another Australian species, growing at a range of latitudes and elevations. It forms a mat of succulent leaves, with these tiny flowers.

Dryadella zebrina

This miniature is a ball of flowers. They are little and not brightly colored, but well worth the close look. Native to Peru, Bolivia, and southern Brazil.

Epidendrum nocturnum

Native to South America on both sides of the Andes, at a range of elevations. I saw these in Ecuador at around 1000-1200 m, and also in Brazil, along the Rio Negro in the Amazon basin. It does fine in my back yard.


Epidendrum porpax

This species has gone under several other genus names but it's back to Epidendrum. It tends to form mats. I am growing it on top of an inverted plastic basket. Flowers have heavy substance.


Dracula mantissa

Lots of small flowers, but they open at different times, so never quite got a flush bloom.


Sudamerlycaste (Ida) ciliata

Colombia, Ecuadur, Peru, Venezuela. These "South American Lycastes" tend to nod downward, the larger, rounder Lycastes are mostly from Central America.

Maxillaria densa

With these clusters of llowers, it lives up to its name. Growth habit is rather unruly, but it's vigorous. Southern Mexico into Central America.

Mediocalcar versteegii

This species is a very vigorous rambler. Native to New Guinea and surrounding islands. I'm not at all sure that this isn't actually Med. biflorum. The descriptions are rather ambiguous. I do love the little "candy corn" flowers.

Ophrys speculum

One of my favorites amont the Mediterranean terrestrials. This is a perfect little bug.

Maxillaria picta

One of the most commonly-grown Maxillarias in southern Californai. The speckled buds open to reveal bright yellow flowers on the inside.

Physosiphon inaequisepalus

Now Stelis declivis. Lots of tiny flowers, and keikis so there is some to share. Natie to Ecuador and Peru, around 3000 m.

Polystachya ottoniana

Native to southern Africa, elevations 800-1600 m. One of the cooler-growing species of the genus. Note the non-resupinate (lip on top) flowers.

Scaphosepalum gibberosum

This is a sequential bloomer that I have shown before. This is the first time that I have had 3 flowers open at the same time.


Satyrium stenopetalum

A South African terrestrial from a Mediterranean climate.

Serapias bergonii

Terrestrial from Greece, the Aegean islands and eastern Mediterranean

Serapias lingua

Widea area of southern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East

Blue Thelymitras

We finally got some sunny days, and the blue Thelymitras put on a show. On overcast days they all close up, waiting for bright sun. While there are starting to be some AOS awards for other Mediterranean-climate terrestrials, there are hardly any for Thelymitras (I found just one on the AOS website). Their habit of closing up in less than the brightest sunshine doesn't work well with the logistics of judging centers.

Thelymitra glaucophylla 'Adelaide'

Thelymitra glaucophylla 'Royal Blue'

Or maybe Thel. nuda...

Thelymitra nuda 'Royal Blue'

Thelymitra gramminea

Thelymitra pauciflora

This is a little one, flowers only about 1/2 inch. These also seem to have a tendency to self-pollinate.

Angraecum arachnites

I almost lost this plant in sphagnum moss, but after a repot (rebasket?) into New Zealand tree-fern fiber, it sems to be thriving. As it recovers, I expect more flowers in the future, this one promises good things to come. It is native to Madagascar, elevation around 1500 m in the central highlands.


Oncidium ghiesbrechtianum
(Mexicoa ghiesbrechtiana)

Like most other monotypic genera, this one got lumped into a larger genus, in this case Oncidum. It is native to central and southwest Mexico, at elevations 1400-2300 m.

In the greenhouse...

Polystachya paniculata

From central and west Africa, elevations 200-1800 m. It is possible that it could grow cooler due to the upper end of its elevation range, but it is doing well in the greenhouse so that is where it will stay. The contrast between the bright orange flowers and the bright green stem is dramatic.