Centroglossa macroceras is a wonderful Orchid from Brazil

Centroglossa macroceras


Centroglossa macroceras is from Brazil

Centroglossa macroceras is a wonderful little species from Brazil. A distant relative of Oncidium, this is an easy miniature to grow and bloom.

Some plants have flowers that form so quickly they seem to appear out of nowhere. Others have flowers that you watch for months as they develop ever so slowly. Centroglossa macroceras fall into this latter category. The inflorescence is visible in October, but the plant does not flower until late February or March. All of the six species of Centroglossa are from Brazil.

Centroglossa macroceras, the most often seen in cultivation, are endemic to the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Not always easy to find, it is well worth searching out for its sparkling white flowers. It is reminiscent of alpine plants that form compact tufts of foliage nearly obscured by blooms in season. The lip of the 3/8-inch (1 cm) flower is saccate (shaped like a pouch or bag) with a club-shaped spur (a hollow tubular extension of the base of the lip) and is crystalline white with green veining that is visible only on the inside. The petals and sepals are green-white to white.

Centroglossa macroceras Habitat:

In nature, it is recorded as being two-flowered, but in cultivation, one can expect two to five flowers per raceme. It is found growing on small-diameter branches where the roots can dry quickly, which gives a clue to its culture. Centroglossa macroceras thrive with plentiful humidity and a watering schedule that provides a wet-dry cycle at the roots. (The roots should not be kept constantly moist but allowed to dry between waterings.) The frequency of watering will vary depending on the season and method of growing. It performs well mounted on cork or hardwood with a bit of moisture-retentive material at the roots. Mounted plants may need daily watering in summer and every few days in winter. It can be grown potted in your preferred fine bark mix with such additives as perlite, horticultural charcoal, or tree fern.

Centroglossa macroceras closeup

                                                        Photo: Americo Docha Neto

Centroglossa macroceras care:

The key to growing plants of this species in a pot is to underpot the plant, using a relatively small pot, limiting the amount of potting medium. The specimen plant shown here was grown in a nonporous pot on a block of tree fern with ample air space between the wall of the container and the tree-fern block. It allows the roots to dry between waterings while maintaining humidity. It is made of two little rectangular slabs of tree fern (in this case about 3/4-inches wide × 11/2 inches long × 3/8 inches thick [2 cm × 3 cm × 1 cm]) that get put together like an ice cream sandwich with the roots spread out between the two pieces. The two halves are then secured with a fishing line or fine-coated wire. Water it as for other similarly sized potted plants.

More read: about Orchids plant

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