Given that a principal requirement of this golden gem is a high humidity around the roots, the species goes on to break all other rules. It is found on the topmost, moss-covered twigs of trees in original forest, bleached by full sun, lashed by high winds and exposed to huge variations in temperature. But we have also found it flowering quite happily in the stable and gloomy environment of the under forest, so beloved by Oncidium truncatum and where no ray of sunlight penetrates.
It should be cultivated in small pots or on cork bark with moss around the roots, in good light and air movement always keeping the roots slightly damp. It is precocious and seedlings may flower three months after deflasking; the flowers appearing frequently and lasting three weeks or more.
Picture by Gordon Riemersma with thanks, of a plant grown from flask.
Flowering-sized plants available price £12 + £5 postage.
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.