Flowering at Species Specific

Rhynchostele bictoniensis var alba

Rhynchostele bictoniensis is a cold growing species from Mexico down through Central America. It is found growing as an epiphyte in humid mossy forests also as a terrestrial and sometimes as a lithophyte at elevations of around 2,400 metres. It is variable in flower colour, usually brown petals and sepals with purplish/maroon bars and marks on the sepals and petals. The lip, or labellum, is normally light pink to red or purple; this particular plant is albino. An easy and accommodating plant to grow it likes a coarse and open compost which drains quickly, high air movement. Humidity should be high to replicate the moist, mossy forests and as always the high air movement required to keep bacterial infection at bay. It is important that that the roots are dry before watering this species again. We grow this particular plant in a basket made from recycled furniture teak which works perfectly, drainage is excellent. We have another two clones of Rhynchostele bictoniensis, one is quite a dark clone and the other relatively light, one is in spike the other not, both those plants are growing on bark mounts. The usual length of upright spike is is between 12 and 18″ (30cm – 46cm) but this particular plant has a strong upright spike of 30″ (76cm) and has 5 flowers open with a further 9 buds to open, by the time the rest of the flowers open I estimate the spike will attain a height of around 40″ (101cm). The flowers of this measure 1.75″ (4.5cm) across. It is currently growing in the cold house with night temperatures of around 10c, in winter the night temperatures will be drop to around 6c, lower on frosty nights. The thermostat on the heater is set to kick in at around 4c. Plants need to be kept drier in the winter at these temperatures, basically the colder the temperature the less water is given. In nature they rely on early morning mists, so spraying the plants from early morning (sunrise) several times per day should suffice, ensuring the plant and foliage is dry before nightfall. For growing in the home a north window or shade east or west window will do, but it must be shaded from sunshine between Morning to late evening.

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