Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The poor man's orchid

Epidendrum radicans

Called a poor man's orchid in old times when orchids were only for the rich and the reed-stem orchids were available, affordable and easy to care for.

Epidendrum radicans

The best known reed-stem orchid is the Epidendrum radicans, native to Mexico, with bright orange and yellow flowers, quite a vigorous and sprawling plant creating a messy tangle with 3 feet long stems and lots of white aerial roots.

 The Epi with purple flowers is also a sprawling plant. I grow mine in a wire basket with spagnum moss.

The other reed-stems are Epidendrum secundum (South America),  E. cinnabarinum (Brazil), and E. ibaguense (Colombia).

Epidendrum Hakalau Super Red

Epidendrum Hakalau Super Red

The named hybrids I have in my collection are not as vigorous as the E. radicans, rather tight and compact, but I do not know my orchids well enough to tell to which reed-stem variety they belong.

Epidendrum Lakeview Yellowsplash
These two, the one above and below, look very similar, but when seen next to each other, Lakeview has very large flowers and a deeper orange

Epidendrum Pacific Glory

Epidendrum Pacific Glory

here are the two next to each other, Lakeview Yellowsplash and Pacific Glory:

And this one is mostly orange colored

Epidendrum Pacific Girl primavera

Pacific Girl primavera front and behind a yellow variety of Epidendrum radicans:

I treat them all the same, lots of sun, water and fertilizer, leave them outside in the winter as long as the temperatures don't drop below freezing.

Epidendrum Wedding Valley 'Sekura Komachi'

Epi Raspberry Red