Friday, August 5, 2011

Cyrtochilum serratum an orchid from Ecuador

I first saw this orchid in a greenhouse in Quito Botanical Gardens.  But later I saw it growing in cultivation near Centro del Mundo and in Mindo.  The plant seems to be a vigorous grower and all the plants I saw had inflorescences.  The fact that I saw no seedlings anywhere I went makes me think that the plants were taken from the wild and planted in the places where I saw them.  All the plants I saw were adults.  The inflorescences are very long. I saw one that was about nine feet long and had several short branches along its lenght.  The flowers seem to be produced continuously along the inflorescence, all the inflorescences I saw had only a few flowers on them, near the tip of the inflorescence.  I saw a plant tied to a bamboo pole about eight feet up from the ground, its inflorescence had been trained along the lenght of the bamboo pole so that people could enjoy the flowers at eye level.  This plant is a cool grower from the Andes where it grows at elevation that can surpass the 9,000 feet.  This means that it is wholly unsuited for cultivation at sea level in hot locales.  It comes from western Ecuador and Peru.

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