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Crytochillum macranthum (Columbia/Peru/Ecuador)

We start Oncidium week with a very unique member of this large group of orchids. Crytochilums mosty occur in high elevation montane cloud  forests where they grow as epiphytes amongst decidous trees. The flower spikes begin developing in the early Fall and can twist and wind their way among  the tree branches where they can reach a length of 12’+.  No matter the position of the spike, once the buds develop they will all turn to the correct position (resupinate- flower opens with the lip in the lower plane of the flower). In cultivation you can use this to your advantage by training the flower spike on stakes in a circular pattern so that once the buds have formed no matter where on the inflorescence they develop they will all look forward.Great care has been given to breeding plants with shorter spikes while maintaining its amazing color and contrast. This plant is an example of that with its 7’ spike. 

Culture can be tricky (but well worth it) since it requires cool to cold conditions and high humidity. I tend to favor under-sized clay pots with sphagnum moss as potting media.

Paphiopedilum liemianum(Sumatra)
We end Slipper week with the beautiful sequential flowering Paphiopedilum liemianum. Found only in northern Sumatra, blooms last about 4 weeks but continue to produce new buds on the same spike for up to one year. It is a very distinct member of the cochlopetulum section of the genus Paphiopedilum with its white “halo” around the bright green dorsal sepal.  High-res

Paphiopedilum liemianum(Sumatra)

We end Slipper week with the beautiful sequential flowering Paphiopedilum liemianum. Found only in northern Sumatra, blooms last about 4 weeks but continue to produce new buds on the same spike for up to one year. It is a very distinct member of the cochlopetulum section of the genus Paphiopedilum with its white “halo” around the bright green dorsal sepal.