Friday, December 9, 2011

Cyrtochilum murinum growing in a tree in the Quito Botanical Garden, Ecuador

A newly opened flower to the right and a mature one to the left

I saw this orchid in the botanical garden of the city of Quito, Ecuador.  This orchid was growing as an epiphyte on a large tree.  The plant was growing at a height of about ten feet in the trunk of the tree.  The inflorescence was five or six feet long and reached down just enough to allow me to photograph the flowers near the tip.  In the Quito area temperatures vary between 45 F at night to 75 during the day.  There are no seasons and this temperature regime stays the same year round.  In the photo, in the right side, you can see a flower that has just opened.  This flower shows very well the color and shape of the floral parts.  In the mature flower the floral segments are strongly reflexed toward the back as can be seen in the flower on the left side of the photo.

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