Gongora odoratissima

Gongora odaratissima with flower spike
Gongora odaratissima leaves
Gongora odaratissima first blooms
Gongora odaratissima first blooms
Gongora odaratissima first blooms
Gongora odaratissima first blooms
Gongora odaratissima first blooms

I picked this up at the Houston Orchid Show in 2019, it’s mid May 2020 and it has its first blooms. the blooms have a strong, sweet smell, which should be obvious given its name. I’ve found it needs far more water and sun than the usual house orchids. This window gives it strong morning sun for several hours in all but the winter months.

Gongoras were first mentioned in the mid 1800s after being discovered by Spanish explorers in their native Ecuador, Columbia and Venezuela.

Gongoras are true epiphytes, I find growing epiphytes in semi-hydro works extremely well. ( a clear shallow bowl, pebbles and about 1″-2″ of water keep in the bottom of the container ). As you can see from the tips of the leaves, it found the winter too dry in here, even in Houston. It’ll probably need a greenhouse in drier parts of the world. It also loves warmth, There is no winter hibernation for this orchid.

Gongoras like the rest of the Stanhopeinae subtribus grow large, this one has doubled in size in a year and I hope it’ll continue to do so for several years. Blooms come in the spring.

They are pollinated by solitary male bees, solitary bees are native to the Americas, the hive bees were imported by the Europeans.

Propagate by division

… more photos and info as it gets larger and I learn more about it

Dendrobium Smilliae aka Bottlebrush orchid

The flower and the extra long stalks are a show stopper once the plant fills out. It’s pretty cool even now.

Epiphyte, warm growing (70’F-86’F), bright, filtered light, high humidity. Keep wet in summer months, a bit drier in the winter. The drying in the winter is a trigger for blooming. It’s planted in semi-hydro ( small pebbles in a shallow glass container with about an inch of water at the bottom)

Australian and New Guinea native, typically found in low land areas growing in the branches of trees and rocks in a bog forest.

This is one of a few orchids that is pollinated by birds, the yellow honeyeater is a small, yellow, hummingbird like bird that hovers near the flowers, feeds on the nectar and pollinates the orchid in the process.

I’ll fill in more details after I have more time with this one, It was just acquired it at the orchid show last month.

Encyclia Green Hornet ( cochleata x trulla) aka octopus orchid


I first saw this at the Houston Orchid Show and was lucky enough to find a vendor with one for sale. It reminds me of little space aliens descending.

I’ve only had it a month, so I’m still relying on basic orchid care for Encyclias: keep warm, medium light. I have it potted in a glass container with clay pellets ( semi-hydro ). Most orchids require cooler weather to bloom, time will tell if this one does as well. One greenhouse claims it is a winter bloomer, which means a temperature drop will be required. Others claim it is a year round bloomer, in which case no temperature drop is required. Time will tell.

It should max out between 12″-18″ in height

It is supposed to be a scented orchid, I haven’t noticed any scent yet.

The forums claim it is a fast growing, easy to care for plant

I’ve seen it listed as a cross between cochleata x trulla and cochleatum x lancifolium

I’ll upload better photos and care tips after I have time to see how it does.

Bracidostele (bcd) orchids

Bcd Guilded Tower ‘mystic maze’

This orchid does very well in low light. It’s in a second floor, north facing window with some shade from the trees. It blooms in Jan. A few cold nights on the windowsill get it going.

Ours is planted semi-hydro.

Windowsill temperatures range from ~45’F-90’F

We found this at the Houston Orchid Show in 2018. Like most cultivars there is little information and most of it is contradictory. I’m going with the Smithsonian version. It’s a cultivar between Brassostele Summit X and Brassidium Gilded Urchin

Vanilla planifolia

Vanilla cuttings getting started outside[/caption]

I’ve grown this off and on for years and have yet to manage a single flower. As a vine it is easy to grow.

Grow in dappled shade to shade, burns easily in direct sunlight. Keep planting medium moist, loves high humidity.

Propagate from stem cuttings

Warm climate orchid 65’F minimum – 85’F. I keep it outside in the summer where it handles temperatures as high as 100’F. In the winters I bring it in and curl up the vine inside large terrariums

Native to Mexico, West Indies, Cuba where it grows wild in forests

Why One Island Grows 80% of the World’s Vanilla

Kew Science, Vanilla planifolia