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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Stanhopea costaricensis

July is just a little early for stanhopeas here. It will be another month before the flooodgates open. In the meantime, we had a magnificent Stanhopea costaricensis in flower in the Orchid Display House last week. The fragrance was just wonderful, with a hint of vanilla.

Our Stanhopea costaricensis  has deep red splashes of varying sizes on the lip and column and some fascinating leopard spots on the petals and sepals.

It's flower isn't quite as big as the really big boys- Stanhopea tigrina, embreei and platyceras, but big enough that I had to back the camera way up in order to get the entire flower and pedicel in the frame.

Seen from above, the elongated lip has a diamond shaped hypochile.

The column has prominent wings.

Stanhopea costaricensis grows as an epiphyte in Central America between 500 and 1500 meters elevation. It grow without any problems in our intermediate greenhouse (60ยบ night minimum) in 60% shade. And it makes an impressive specimen sized (12") basket with outstandingly fragrant flowers.

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