January 11, 2011

Lepanthes telipogoniflora

Lepanthes telipogoniflora is one of the most beautiful and sought-after species in this genus of tropical jewels.  Its large flowers dwarf the tiny plants which produce them and the red-orange color of the flowers stands out in any collection.  The plant is from Colombia and is a relatively new discovery, having only been described for the first time in 1996.  Its name, telipogoniflora, refers to the perceived resemblance of the flowers to those of another orchid genus, Telipogon.

The leaves, which grow in a tight cluster are about 1 cm at their largest, the flowers about 3 cm in diameter.  The flowers are not especially long-lasting, but are produced in succession so that the plant is seldom without flowers.  It is difficult to catch the color of the flowers and their satiny texture, and the lip and petals are so tiny as to go almost unnoticed in the center of the flower, but are very intricate and beautiful when viewed closely.  The plant is supposed to be warm growing but does very well for me in cool conditions with high humidity.

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