Saturday, February 19, 2011
The history of stanhopea nigripes, like of many orchids, shrouded in a bit of mystery. This beautiful and special stanhopea first flowered in Kew in late 1890’s from a plant purchased in auction a few years earlier. For many years origin of this stanhopea was unknown and that only plant was displayed and studied by various botanists.
In 1960’s further research was completed on this specie and these days we know that stanhopea nigripes native to wet mountain rainforests of Peru and growing at an elevation of 1900 meters.
My plant just finished its first flowering and I took some pictures of it’s beautiful blooms. At the moment it’s starting to develop another spike, giving a second blooming this season. It’s quite vigorous and generous stanhopea.
The flowers are large, dark cream color with a shade darker overlapping petals and very big, distinct black “eyes”. The scent is very unusual, it smells of “smoke” – very strong and penetrating. When the flowers unfolded, one could smell smoke everywhere and people commented that there must be “bush fires” nearby, but of course, it was this stanhopea’s unique scent.
Stanhopea nigripes is another wonderful and unusual orchid to add to any stanhopea collection and it delights me to be able to share its magic this flowering season.