Sophronitis is one of the breathtaking delights in spring and to a smaller extent, autumn, in the high mountain elfin forest of Brazil. At about 1500 metres altitude in September and October these dwarf trees, many at eye level come alive with the scarlet flowers. (see photo). The conditions are cool, bright sun, windy and mists driven through the trees at dawn and dusk. Although the flowers are predominately scarlet, other colour forms are also found: orange lip, orange streaks on the petals, and the rarest and most highly prized, the bright butter-yellow known as var. flava.
Our stock is grown from seed collected in one particular area where the plants bear large flowers, often in pairs.
As the habitat suggests, the plants need cool, moist and well aerated conditions and they will flower in March and April lasting for some weeks.
Established young scarlet-flowered plants are available for £18 plus £5 for postage and packing.
An interesting mat-forming small plant which combines features of both Dendrobium and Bulbophyllum. However, unlike Bulbophyllum, the flowers arise from the apex of the globose pseudobulbs. The attractive, fleshy, Bulbophyllum-like blooms arise at times during the year and are long-lasting. Best grown on cork bark and kept humid and moist at all times and with good air movement.
With thanks to Chris Barker showing the flowers in detail.
Dendrobium alaticaulinum is an attractive plant, bushy in form with pendent fleshy pseudobulbs or canes which can form substantial colonies covered in flowers. The delicate flowers are borne at the tips of the pseudobulbs in groups of up to 20 and are pink, sometimes with white tips to the sepals and petals. They are long-lasting and some plants are constantly in flower.
The species is from high altitude in New Guinea and needs cool, humid conditions. It is one of the easier high altitude plants to grow but should never be allowed to dry out.
Plants (well established seedlings) £15 each plus £5 for postage and packing.