Archive | March 2015

Restrepia xanthophthalma

Those of you who are familiar with Restrepias doubtless know of striata, but may not be familiar with xanthophthalma.  The leaves on this are thicker, pointier, and longer than those of striata.  The flowers are similarly shaped, but instead of being orange/red striped, are sort of a purply cranberry, and spotted.  It likes it wet, and shady.  This plant has been parked out of direct sun, but with bright afternoon indirect light for years, and still, the leaves turn purple, even from that low amount of light.  There really is no seasonality to its blooming, which happens several times a year, whenever it feels like it.  In addition to the two open flowers, there are a good half dozen more buds hidden behind othre leaves.

African Violet

This is one that was given to me after it had bloomed, and had gotten rather sad looking.  It has since filled in nicely, and rebloomed.  Very few of my indoor plants are ordinary houseplants instead of orchids, because I have a nasty habit of neglecting them.  However, African violets, Sago palms, and spider plants are fairly forgiving.

Dendrobium rigidum

This Dendrobium is also known as Dockrillia rigida.  It’s native to Australia.  This is one of my most reliable bloomers, blooming on and off throughout the year.  The flowers are only about 1/4″ across, crystalline white with nice cranberry colored stripes, in clusters from 2-6 flowers.  Whenever a new leaf has finish growing, it pumps out a new spike.  As the plant matures and spreads, the largest leaves will get to be about an inch long.  It’s very tolerant of temperature and watering schedule variations, however, it does grow best when allowed to dry before giving it a soak.  Mine happens to be mounted on some sort of wood plank, but I’ve seen them potted in clay, too.  They like a fair amount of light, but if the leaves take on a purple tinge, they’re at the high end of the light range they can tolerate.  They don’t need to go purplish to bloom, but it doesn’t hurt.

Polystacha paniculata

This one is fairly temperature tolerant, but likes to stay damp, and is okay sitting in some water.  As long as it stays damp, even in winter, it will continue to grow.  If it gets too dry for any length of time, it just stops growing until it’s watered again.  Bright indirect light levels, or shady with some direct morning or late afternoon sun are enough to get it to bloom.  It’s a good candidate for “windowsill” growing, and can be treated like a Phragmipedium, if that works as a point of reference for you.