November 30, 2010

Ophidion cunabulum

Ophidion cunabulum, formerly classified as Cryptophoranthus cunabulus, is a tiny orchid in the Pleurothallid group.  The lance-shaped leaves are approximately 5 cm long and the flowers about 1.5 cm, blooming, one or two flowers at a time successively in the pendant spikes.

The plant is from Colombia and both names refer to the shaped of the flower, Ophidon referring to the snake-head shape of the flowers and cunabulum meaning "cradle-shaped."  The plant is easy to grow and blooms freely over a long period of time.

My plant is in a small bonsai pot with the flowers dangling over the sides, but the plant could also very be grown on a mount.  It is tolerant of different temperatures, but prefers fairly high humidity.  I grow the plant under rather high light and the leaves and flower spikes are shorter than they would be otherwise.

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