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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Peristeria pendula

If Peristeria elata, the Dove Orchid, is the only Peristeria familiar to you, then Peristeria pendula will come as a surprise. Superficially it looks very different. The flower spike is compact and pendant, so the flowers are clustered on the surface of the potting mix like a clutch of speckled birds' eggs. It's only when you look inside the flower and see the hinged lip that you realize that you are looking at a Peristeria. You can see another species here.

Peristeria pendula is an epiphyte that grows in wet forests at 500 to 1100 meters across northern South America. Our plant flowers in August. Since it is an epiphyte we grow it in a different medium and a different pot than the one we use for Peristeria elata, a terrestrial orchid. For Peristeria pendula we use a mixture of long fibered premium sphagnum and chopped tree fern inside a net pot.


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