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Macroclinium bicolor (Lindley) Dodson

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ORCHID SPECIES CULTURE
Charles and Margaret Baker

Macroclinium bicolor (Lindley) Dodson

AKA: Notylia bicolor Lindley. 
In 1881 Barbosa-Rodrigues described the genus Macroclinium, but the plants
originally placed in the new genus were later transferred to the genus
Notylia. For many years, the genus Notylia  was divided into two
convenient sections based on vegetative habit. In section Macroclinium,
leaves are equitant, distichous, and overlap like shingles on a roof. The
folded bases sometimes hide a small, compressed pseudobulb. In the second
section, Eunotylia, plants had small but distinct pseudobulbs with a
single flat leaf. Dodson (1984) stated that there were sufficient
differences to justify genus status for each section, and plants in
section Macroclinium were moved back to the genus Macroclinium, and plants
in section Eunotylia were left in the genus Notylia. 

ORIGIN/HABITAT: Reported from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa
Rica. However, Mexican plants that were originally referred to under this
name are now listed as a separate genus. Dressler (1993) reported that the
Costa Rican plants previously thought to be Macroclinium bicolor are
actually Macroclinium ramonense, so it appears that this species is
limited to Guatemala and El Salvador. In Guatemala, plants grow on forest
trees at 4800 ft. (1460 m). Plants have been found in several locations
near Guatemala City and at other locations in the region. In El Salvador,
plants were found on Cerro Grande de Apaneca at 5600 ft. (1700 m). 

CLIMATE: Station #78641, Guatemala City, Guatemala, Lat. 14.6N, Long.
90.5W, at 4885 ft. (1489 m). Temperatures are calculated for an elevation
of 4800 ft. (1460 m), resulting in probable extremes of 88F (31C) and 41F
(5C). 

N/HEMISPHERE    JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
F AVG MAX        72   74   77   80   79   76   77   77   75   72   72   71
F AVG MIN        52   53   55   58   60   59   59   59   59   57   55   54
DIURNAL RANGE    20   21   22   22   19   17   18   18   16   15   17   17
RAIN/INCHES     0.1  0.0  0.7  0.8  4.5 10.0 11.0  9.0 10.4  4.1  0.6  0.6
HUMIDITY/%       75   72   74   73   74   81   77   81   84   80   78   77
BLOOM SEASON    N/A
DAYS CLR @  6AM  10    8   12    5    2    1    0    2    0    2    8   10
DAYS CLR @ 12PM  18   21   22   18    5    2    2    5    1    7   10   14
RAIN/MM           3    0   18   20  114  254  279  229  264  104   15   15
C AVG MAX      22.2 23.3 25.0 26.7 26.1 24.6 25.1 25.0 23.9 22.2 22.2 21.7
C AVG MIN      11.1 11.8 12.9 14.6 15.7 15.2 15.2 15.2 15.2 14.0 12.9 12.4
DIURNAL RANGE  11.1 11.5 12.1 12.1 10.4  9.4  9.9  9.8  8.7  8.2  9.3  9.3
S/HEMISPHERE    JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC  JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN

Cultural Recommendations: 

LIGHT: 1200-2000 fc. Plants need filtered or diffused light and need
protection from direct sun. Strong air movement should be provided at all
times. 

TEMPERATURES: Summer days average 76-77F (25C), and nights average 59F
(15C), with a diurnal range of 17-18F (10C). 

HUMIDITY: 75-80% most of the year, dropping briefly to near 70% for a
month or so in winter. 

WATER: Rainfall is moderate to heavy from late spring into autumn.
Averages then drop rapidly into a dry season that extends from late autumn
to the following spring. Cultivated plants should be watered heavily while
actively growing, but drainage must be excellent, and conditions around
the roots should never be stale or soggy. Water should be reduced in
autumn after new growths have matured. 

FERTILIZER: 1/4-1/2 recommended strength, applied weekly when plants are
actively growing. Many growers use a balanced fertilizer throughout the
year. Others prefer to use a high-nitrogen fertilizer from spring to
midsummer, then switch to a high-phosphate formula in late summer and
autumn.

REST PERIOD: Winter days average 71-74F (22-23C), and nights average
52-54F (11-12C), with a diurnal range of 17-21F (9-12C). Rainfall is light
for about 6 months from late autumn into early spring. Even during the dry
season, however, some moisture is still available from heavy dew and
nighttime mist. Cultivated plants need less water in winter, but they
should not be dry for very long. Fairly frequent early-morning mistings
between infrequent light waterings should provide enough moisture in most
growing areas while, at the same time, providing the required dry rest.
Fertilizer should be reduced or eliminated until new growth starts and
heavier watering is resumed in spring. 

GROWING MEDIA: Macroclinium bicolor may do best if tightly mounted to
tree-fern slabs or blocks. Mounted plants need high humidity, however, and
during hot, dry weather may require several waterings a day. If it is
difficult to keep mounted plants moist, they may be grown in small pots or
baskets using a very open, fast draining medium that breaks down slowly.
These plants take a long time to recover after being disturbed, so they
should be disturbed as infrequently as possible. A good potting mix for
these plants is shredded tree-fern fiber with chopped sphagnum moss and
chunky perlite added to hold the medium open and well aerated and also
retain some moisture. Adding charcoal to the mix also helps hold the
medium open and keeps it from becoming sour. Plants should be repotted
immediately if the medium starts to break down or every few years if the
plant outgrows its pot. Repotting is best done just as new roots start to
grow enables the plant to become reestablished in the shortest possible
time. 

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: N/A. 

Plant and Flower Information:

PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A small, 2 in. (5 cm) sympodial epiphyte.

PSEUDOBULB: 0.2-0.4 in. (0.5-1.0 cm) long by about 0.2 in. (0.5 cm) wide.
Plants may grow into clumps which are 1.4-.4..0 in. (3.5-10.0 cm) long.
The small, egg-shaped pseudobulb is laterally flattened and completely
concealed by leaf-sheaths. The thick sheaths are densely clustered, folded
longitudinally along the midvein, with a longitudinally folded, leaflike
blade at the apex. The sheaths have conspicuous transparent or translucent
margins.

LEAVES: 0.6-2.0 in. (1.5-5.0 cm) long by 0.2-0.4 in. (0.4-1.0 cm) wide. A
single elliptic-lanceolate to linear-lanceolate leaf is carried at the
apex of the pseudobulb with several equitant leaves carried on the sheaths
at the base of the pseudobulb. The sharply pointed leaves are
sickle-shaped, rigid, and fleshy. 

INFLORESCENCE: 1.0-3.7 in. (2.5-9.5 cm) long. The peduncle emerges at the
base of the pseudobulb. It is thin and threadlike, erect-ascending to
pendent, and carries many flowers in a dense raceme on the apical half.
Each blossom is carried on a threadlike, pedicellate ovary that is about
0.3 in. (0.8 cm) long. 

FLOWERS: Numerous. The small blossoms are about 0.7 in. (1.8 cm) long with
narrow, sharply pointed sepals and petals that do not open fully. Sepals
and petals are white, but the petals are marked with dull purple spots.
The lip is whitish-purple with a pair of darker purple spots on the disc.
The linear-lanceolate sepals are 0.4-0.6 in. (0.9-1.5 cm) long by 0.1 in.
(0.1-0.2 cm) wide below the middle. The dorsal sepal is longitudinally
concave and curves forming a hood over the column. The base  of the
sickle-shaped lateral sepals are united for about 0.1 in. (0.1 cm). The
obliquely lanceolate petals are 0.3-0.5 in. (0.8-1.2 cm) long by 0.1 in.
(0.13-0.15 cm) wide near the base. They point forward at the base hiding
each side of the column but then curve somewhat downward toward the tip.
The lip is attached to the base of the column with a slender,
convex-folded claw that is 0.1 in. (0.1-0.15 cm) long. The blade of the
lip is spreading, vaguely shaped like an arrow-head at the base with a
small somewhat grooved callus between earlike appendages. The lip is
linear to near the middle where it widens abruptly then tapers to a long,
narrow, sharply pointed tip that curves sharply downward near the middle.
Overall, the lip is 0.2-0.4 in. (0.5-0.9 cm) long by 0.1 in. (0.2 cm) wide
across the widest point near the middle. The erect column is 0.2 in.
(0.4-0.5 cm) long and somewhat terete toward the base with a slightly
dilated apex. 

HYBRIDIZING NOTES: N/A. 

REFERENCES: 

Ames, O. and D. Correll. (1952-1965) 1985. Orchids of Guatemala and
Belize. Dover Publications, New York. 

Dodson, C., and P. de Dodson. 1984. Orchids of Ecuador. Fasc. 10, plates
901-1000. Icones Plantarum Tropicarum. See Plates 937-939. The Marie Selby
Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 33577. 

Hamer, F. 1964. Orchids of El Salvador, vol. 2. The Marie Selby Botanical
Gardens, 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 33577. 

Hawkes, A. [1965] 1987. Encyclopaedia of cultivated orchids. Faber and
Faber, London. 

PHOTOS/DRAWINGS:

Ames, O. and D. Correll. (1952-1965) 1985. Orchids of Guatemala and
Belize. Dover Publications, New York. (Drawing)

Hamer, F. 1964. Orchids of El Salvador, vol. 2. The Marie Selby Botanical
Gardens, 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 33577. 


Copyright 1999, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker
Sheet version 65801897

.........................................................................
Please remember that this sheet is for your use only, and though it was
provided free of charge, it may not be reproduced or retransmitted in
any way without permission.
.........................................................................

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 "Orchid Species Culture" Charles & Margaret Baker, Portland, Oregon USA

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Go Back to Free Culture Sheet Index -- Baker's Home Page

This culture sheet was provided by Charles and Margaret Baker.
Please visit their web site to find out about their Orchid Species Culture books,
Pollination Database, and culture sheet subscription service.