Thursday, January 8, 2009

Embreea rodigasiana – the close relative

This beautiful orchid closely related to stanhopea’s and in fact, until about 1980’s was called stanhopea rodigasiana, but then been re-classified as a separate genus.

The difference is in the number of inflorescences and horns– stanhopea’s producing multiple number of flowers on each spike and embreea’s carry only one flower. These orchids native to Colombia and Ecuador and growing in very wet, misty clouded forests and in cultivation have to grow in open planters, just as stanhopea’s.

Early this morning another flower opened on my embreea rodigasiana and I took this picture to capture its beautiful flower. The flower spike is about 30cm long and the flower is rather large and fleshy, creamy with burgundy color spots on petals. The scent is very strong and spicy and reminds me of combination of clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. My plant currently developing more flower spikes and I am anticipating seeing more of these rare and dramatic flowers.

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