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Friday, August 23, 2013


Lycomormium is closely related to Peristeria--the Dove Orchid and its relatives. Like Peristeria, Lycomormium plants can be large, are often terrestrial, have robust pseudobulbs and long pleated leaves. The flowers are simple (compared with other Stanhopeinae); and they are pollinated by Euglossine bees. Unlike Peristeria, Lycomormium has a lip (dark pink in the unidentified species above) that is fixed, not hinged.

The name Lycomormium comes from lykos, the ancient Greek word for wolf; and mormo, meaning goblin --a sinister name for group of orchids most of whom have rosy pink polka dots.

Lycomormiums are Andean orchids that grow in wet lower montane forests in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Our lycomormiums struggled through last summer, when we had four consecutive months above 95º. Ninety five degrees outside translates into 85º to 88º (depending on the %RH) in our humid greenhouses. Oh no, I thought, if this trend continues will we have to give up growing intermediate orchids?? So we moved our lycomormiums to the cool end of the greenhouse next to the wet wall and hoped for the best. But surprise, this summer has been cool, cloudy and rainy --hardly two days in a row above 90º-- and the lycomormiums look much happier. We're not crazy about cloudy, but cool is a welcome novelty here.


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