Friday, February 22, 2019

Stanhopea intermedia

Stanhopea intermedia1
I am delighted to see this specie in flower this season. It came to me some time ago and  I’ve been patiently waiting for it to bloom.

It’s one of extra ordinary stanhopea’s that is so difficult to find and even rare to see blooming and it have very colorful history.

 It was first imported in 1885 by orchid collector Wolter from Germany together with other stanhopea species from Mexico. From his collection, one of the stanhopea intermedia plants was given to the orchid collection of the Botanical Garden of St.Petersburg in Russia. The plant took it’s time to flower and finally bloomed in 1896 for the first time. Only in 1898 it was inspected, studied, documented and named as new specie stanhopea intermedia by J C Klinge based in that plant in St.Petersburg. The fate of the remaining plants in Germany is unknown.
Stanhopea intermedia2
Stanhopea intermedia native to Mexico’s slopes of the Pacific side of the Sierra and it’s very rare orchid, not often seen. In my life I have seen a few stanhopea intermedia  plants in some other private collections, but they were yet to flower, so one could not be sure unless one can see it blooming, and this season my own plant sent out flower spike that I have nurtured.

For anyone trying to bloom this specie I can only relate my own personal experience - at the time it bloomed with me, we had very hot and humid summer. It wanted copious amount of water, but really enjoyed when we had days of stormy, raining weather. It’s totally dislikes any form of sunlight, the darker the better seems to be for this specie so it’s been moved around greenhouse a lot in an attempt to shade it even from average light.

The scent of stanhopea intermedia is complex, with many layers - one can smell initial strong herb/spices notes and then very strong sweetness, reminiscent of something like heavy rose oil. Very unusual combination of perfume for stanhopea.

This specie demands attention in cultivation and may or may not be for a casual stanhopea grower, but for someone who exhibit dedication and persistence it will reveal it’s beauty, rarity and special place created by Nature.

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