Thursday, August 4, 2011
Epidendrum porphyreum, in Quito Botanical Gardens, Ecuador
An inflorescence of Epidendrum porphyreum
Plants growing in the grounds of the Quito Botanical Gardens
An inflorescence close up
This orchid was seen at the Quito Botanical Gardens, Quito, Ecuador. This plant was planted in the ground in several spots in the garden and inside the orchid house. The plants are large and some were just shy of four feet tall when in full bloom. It grows in Ecuador and Colombia under cool to cold conditions in wet mountain forests. It thrives under a daily cycle of temperature that goes from the middle forties at night to the middle seventies during the day. Plants in full bloom are very attractive and a group of them is spectacular. However I suspect its large size and particular growing needs have prevented this plant from becoming popular among orchid growers outside Ecuador. I would love to grow this plant but it is pretty doubtful it would survive the high summer temperatures and the ocassional dry spell. I. wonder if anyone has made hybrids of this plant that might be more tolerant of higher temperatures and drier growing conditions, you can dream, can't you?