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ORCHID SPECIES CULTURE Charles and Margaret Baker Psychopsiella limminghei (C. Morren ex Lindley) E. Lückel & G. J. Braem AKA: Oncidium limminghei C. Morren ex Lindley, Oncidium echinophorum Barbosa-Rodrigues. For many years Oncidium limminghei was included with Oncidium papilio Lindley, Oncidium kramerianum Rchb. f., Oncidium sanderae Rolfe, and Oncidium versteegianum Pulle in the section Glanduligera. This group of species were transferred to the genus Psychopsis, but Oncidium limminghei was moved into a monospecific genus Psychopsiella by Lückel and Braem in 1982 because it has distinctly different pollinia, a unique vegetative habit, differences in floral segments, and a completely different chromosome count. ORIGIN/HABITAT: Venezuela and Brazil. The type specimen for this species was reportedly found near Caracas, Venezuela, but since that time, it has only been found in the State of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Unfortunately, few details about habitat type, location, or elevation have been reported. The McQueens (1992 and 1993) report that Psychopsiella limminghei grows best under intermediate to warm conditions, so we have selected habitat elevation accordingly. Growers should use the temperatures somewhat cautiously, however, and be prepared to move modify conditions if the plants do not thrive. CLIMATE: Station #83743, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Lat. 22.9S, Long. 43.2W, at 89 ft. (27 m). Temperatures are calculated for an elevation of 1650 ft. (500 m), resulting in probable extremes of 97F (36C) and 41F (5C). N/HEMISPHERE JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC F AVG MAX 70 71 70 72 74 77 79 80 78 75 72 71 F AVG MIN 58 59 60 61 63 66 68 68 67 64 61 59 DIURNAL RANGE 12 12 10 11 11 11 11 12 11 11 11 12 RAIN/INCHES 1.6 1.7 2.6 3.1 4.1 5.4 4.9 4.8 5.1 4.2 3.1 2.1 HUMIDITY/% 77 75 78 78 78 78 74 78 81 80 79 78 BLOOM SEASON * * * * * * * * DAYS CLR @ 9AM 9 10 6 7 4 4 6 5 8 5 6 8 RAIN/MM 41 43 66 79 104 137 124 122 130 107 79 53 C AVG MAX 21.1 21.7 21.1 22.2 23.3 25.2 26.2 26.7 25.6 23.9 22.2 21.7 C AVG MIN 14.4 14.9 15.5 16.0 17.1 18.8 19.9 19.9 19.4 17.7 16.0 14.9 DIURNAL RANGE 6.7 6.8 5.6 6.2 6.2 6.4 6.3 6.8 6.2 6.2 6.2 6.8 S/HEMISPHERE JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN Cultural Recommendations: LIGHT: 1800-2500 fc. Light should be somewhat filtered or diffused, and plants should not be exposed to direct midday sun. Strong air movement should be provided at all times. TEMPERATURES: Summer days average 77-80F (25-27C), and nights average 66-68F (19-20C), with a diurnal range of 11-12F (6-7C). HUMIDITY: 75-80% year-round. WATER: Rainfall is moderate to heavy most of the year, but conditions are somewhat drier in winter. Cultivated plants should be watered often while actively growing, but drainage should be excellent and conditions around the roots should never be stale or soggy. FERTILIZER: 1/4-1/2 recommended strength, applied weekly when plants are actively growing. Many growers use a balanced fertilizer throughout the year; but others prefer to use a high-nitrogen fertilizer from spring through midsummer, then switch to one with high phosphates in late summer and autumn. REST PERIOD: Winter days average 70-71F (21-22C), and nights average 58-59F (14-15C), with a diurnal range of 12F (7C). Rainfall in the habitat is somewhat lower in winter, but there is not a prolonged or severe dry season. Cultivated plants need less water in winter, and they should stay dry for somewhat longer between waterings, but they should not be dry for more than a week or so. Fertilizer should be reduced or eliminated until heavier watering is resumed in spring. GROWING MEDIA: Psychopsiella limminghei grow probably best and are most easily managed if mounted tightly to a cork slab. If mounted, however, humidity must be high and the plants need to be watered at least once a day in summer. During extremely hot, dry weather, mounted plants may need several mistings a day. Plants might grow in shallow pots or baskets filled with an open, fast-draining medium. The roots must dry rapidly after watering, so it is essential that the medium has perfect drainage. Even with ideal drainage, it may be preferable to mount the plant on a cork slab and then wedge the end of the slab into the pot or basket. Repotting or dividing should be done only when new roots are starting to grow, which allows the plant to become established in the shortest possible time with the least amount of stress. MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom season shown in the climate table is based on cultivation records. Growers report that this species is one of the more difficult species to cultivate successfully, so particular care should be given to their cultural needs. Growers should consider it essential to keep conditions around the roots from ever becoming stale or soggy. Plant and Flower Information: PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A very small, creeping plant. PSEUDOBULB: 0.8 in. (2 cm) long by 0.6 in. (1.5 cm) wide. The flat, heart-shaped pseudobulbs, which often overlap, are covered with prominently nerved white sheaths when young. These sheaths quickly become only ragged remains on older growths. The pseudobulbs and leaves lie flat against the tree on which the plant is growing, and new growths appear from under the older ones. Growths are spaced at intervals of 0.4-0.8 in. (1-2 cm) on the occasionally branching rhizome. LEAVES: 1.4 in. (3.5 cm) long by 1.4 in. (3.5 cm) wide. Each growth carries a single leaf at the apex of the pseudobulb. The heart-shaped leaves are fairly thin with margins that curl backward. Leaves are light brownish green with maroon-puce markings that may be quite dark on younger leaves. INFLORESCENCE: To 4 in. (10 cm) long. An erect to horizontal flower spike emerges from the base of the new pseudobulb in summer or autumn. The peduncle has 3-4 small tubular sheaths at nodes along its length. FLOWERS: 1. The inflorescence carries a single flower at a time, but the spike continues to lengthen and new flowers develop after the old ones have fallen until each spike produces as many as 5 blossoms. Flowers are 1.2-1.6 in. (3-4 cm) across, which is rather large considering the size of the plant. The dorsal sepal is about 0.6 in. (1.5 cm) long by 0.3 in. (0.8 cm) wide. Lateral sepals are slightly smaller, and the widely spread petals are a little larger. The lateral lobes, which are about 0.8 in. (2 cm) long by about 0.8 in. (2 cm) wide across if they are spread, are rounded, rather narrow at the base, generally held in a upright position, and then curve inward at their tips. The are separated from the midlobe by a rather narrow isthmus. The 3-lobed lip is slightly narrower across the widely spread, kidney-shaped midlobe that may be turned up or slightly incurved at its margins. The concave dorsal sepal and slightly incurved petals are bright reddish brown and more or less barred with yellow-green or lighter brown. The egg-shaped lateral sepals are not as brightly colored. The lip is yellow with orange-brown spots and marks. The yellowish white callus located between lateral lobes has 3 ridges and orange-brown markings. The column is yellow with wide, deeply fringed, yellow wings. The anther is creamy yellow, and each flower produces 2 hard, yellow pollinia. HYBRIDIZING NOTES: Chromosome count is 2n = 56. REFERENCES: Braem, G. J. 1993. Studies in the Oncidiinae. Schlechteriana 4(1-2):8-29. Dunsterville G. and E. Dunsterville. 1982. Psychopsis and Psychopsiella - One old and one new genus. American Orchid Society Bulletin 51(9):942-947. Dunsterville, G., and L. Garay. 1976. Venezuelan orchids illustrated, vol. 6. Orchid Herbarium of Oakes Ames, Botanical Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. Hamilton, R. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211 Beckwith Road, Richmond, B. C., Canada V6X 1V7. McQueen, J., and B. McQueen. 1992. Miniature orchids. Timber Press, Portland, OR. McQueen, J., and B. McQueen. 1993. Orchids of Brazil. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Copyright 2000, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker Sheet version 94436917 ......................................................................... 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. ......................................................................... __________________________________________________________________________ "Orchid Species Culture" Charles & Margaret Baker, Portland, Oregon USA Orchid Culture & Pollination site http://www.orchidculture.com email <email@example.com> __________________________________________________________________________ "Orchid Species Culture Vol. 1 - Pescatorea, Phaius, Phalaenopsis, Pholidota, Phragmipedium, Pleione" 250 pages of culture information. "Orchid Species Culture Vol. 2 - Dendrobium" 850 pages of culture information for more than 1230 Dendrobium species. 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