Stelises do like to stay moist, if not actually soggy, but are not as picky about temperature fluctuations as Masdevallias, and deal with the summer heat better. The leaves on this are about 3-4″ long; it’s a miniature, but not a micro-mini like morganii or micrantha. It’s another reliable bloomer, as long as it isn’t allowed to dry out.
This one was acquired from Parkside in July, I believe. It had finished blooming, but has bloomed for me twice since then. Same growing conditions as my other Stelises — shady to semi-shady, and kept pretty soggy. Mostly, Stelises like the same conditions as Masdevallias, except are more tolerant of summer heat. I keep mine indoors all year, so they benefit from two or three months worth of air conditioning, when it’s too hot to make do with open windows.
The flowers, as the name implies, are a rather nice reddish purple. They’re a little less than 1/4″ across.
Stelis morganii is smaller than argentata, both in leaf and bloom size, but the growth/bloom habit is similar. Many spikes emerge from the base of newly mature leaves. With morganii, the flowers are a very pale yellow, and with my horrible photography skills, difficult to photograph well enough to do it justice. If nothing else, this photo shows its growth and spiking habit.
As with any other Stelis, keep it shady and wet, and it will reward you.
Like all Stelises, this likes it wet and shady. Argentata is one of my favorites; the flowers are actually big enough to see, and I love the shade of red. As of now, four spikes are blooming, with another five on the way.
The general growing conditions for Stelises are similar to Masdevallias, except that they are more temperature tolerant at the upper end. The less fuss I have to put into keeping an orchid at just the right temperature, the better, so I’ve always had success with Stelises, while my luck with massies has been mixed. When open windows will do, I refuse to run the air conditioner just for a few plants.