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Psychopsis krameriana (Rchb. f.) H. G. Jones.

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Charles and Margaret Baker

Psychopsis krameriana (Rchb. f.) H. G. Jones.

AKA: Oncidium kramerianum Rchb. f., Oncidium nodosum Morren, Oncidium
papilio Lindley var. kramerianum (Rchb. f.) Lindley, Papiliopsis nodosus
Morren, Papiliopsis krameriana (Rchb. f.) Morren.

ORIGIN/HABITAT: Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador. In Panama,
plants are found in the lowlands near Chiriquí Lagoon on the Caribbean
side of the isthmus and near Puerto Armuelles on the Pacific side. Plants
on trees in wet, tropical forest at 650-1650 ft. (200-500 m) in the
western lowlands of Colombia and Ecuador.

CLIMATE: Station #80062, Turbo, Colombia, Lat. 8.1N, Long. 76.7W, at 7 ft.
(2 m). Temperatures are calculated for an elevation of 1500 ft. (460 m),
resulting in probable extremes of 98F (37C) and 41F (5C).

F AVG MAX        80   80   81   82   82   82   82   83   83   82   83   80
F AVG MIN        67   67   68   68   68   67   67   68   68   70   68   67
DIURNAL RANGE    13   13   13   14   14   15   15   15   15   12   15   13
RAIN/INCHES     3.0  2.5  1.3  5.6 11.5 11.1 12.9 11.7  8.8  9.5 13.1 10.7
HUMIDITY/%       83   84   83   85   86   87   85   84   85   82   81   86
BLOOM SEASON      *    *  ***   **  ***   **   **   **   **    *    **   *
DAYS CLR @  7AM   3    1    0    0    1    0    0    0    0    1    0    2
RAIN/MM          76   64   33  142  292  282  328  297  224  241  333  272
C AVG MAX      26.7 26.7 27.2 27.8 27.8 28.0 27.8 28.3 28.3 27.8 28.3 26.7
C AVG MIN      19.4 19.5 20.0 20.0 20.0 19.5 19.5 20.0 20.0 21.2 20.0 19.5
DIURNAL RANGE   7.3  7.2  7.2  7.8  7.8  8.5  8.3  8.3  8.3  6.6  8.3  7.2

Cultural Recommendations:

LIGHT: 1800-2500 fc. Low light is suggested initially. Plants may tolerate
higher light with high humidity and brisk air movement.

TEMPERATURES: Throughout the year, days average 80-83F (27-28C), and
nights average 67-70F (19-21C), with a diurnal range of 12-15F (7-8C).

HUMIDITY: 80-85% year-round.

WATER: Rainfall is moderate to heavy most of the year, with a brief,
slightly dry period in late winter. Cultivated plants should be watered
often, but their roots must dry quickly after watering, and the medium
should never be water logged or soggy.

FERTILIZER: 1/4-1/2 recommended strength, applied weekly when plants are
actively growing. Many growers use a balanced fertilizer all year, but
others use a high-nitrogen fertilizer from spring to midsummer and a
higher phosphate formula in late summer and autumn.

REST PERIOD: Growing temperatures should be maintained all year. Because
of the relatively wide range of distribution, plants probably will adapt
to winter minimum temperatures that are 3-5F (2-3C) cooler than indicated.
Cultivated plants need less water in winter, especially if light is low,
days are short, or temperatures are cool, conditions that can occur in
temperate latitudes. Plants should never dry out completely.

GROWING MEDIA: Plants may be mounted on tree-fern or cork slabs if
humidity is high and plants are watered at least once daily in summer.
Several waterings a day may be necessary for mounted plants during very
hot, dry weather. Because most growers find it difficult to keep mounted
plants moist enough, they are usually grown in shallow pots or baskets
using an open, fast draining medium which contains materials that retain
some moisture, such as chopped sphagnum or perlite, but dries fairly
rapidly after watering. Charcoal is often added to help keep the medium
open and prevent it from becoming sour. Undersized pots just large enough
to hold the roots are often used. Repotting should be done only when
necessary, and then only just as new root growth is starting to enable the
plant to become reestablished in the shortest possible time. Our plants
grow well for us in wire baskets that are lined with coconut fiber. The
basket is then filled with a medium made from a mixture of fine and medium
grade tree-fern fiber mixed with about 10% perlite and 10% charcoal.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom season shown in the climate table is based
on cultivation records. In the habitat, plants are reported to bloom at
any time of year.

Plant and Flower Information:

PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A 7-11 in. (17-29 cm), sympodial epiphyte.

PSEUDOBULB: 1.0-1.6 in. (2.5-4.0 cm) in diameter. The compressed, more or
less wrinkled pseudobulbs are enveloped in several papery overlapping
bracts which soon weather away.

LEAVES: 6-10 in. (15-25 cm) long. A single rigid, leathery, persistent,
elliptic-oblong leaf is carried at the top of each pseudobulb. The leaves,
which are 1.4-2.6 in. (3.5-6.5 cm) wide, are sharply pointed at the tip
and contracted into a very short, folded petiole at the base. They are
deep green on the upper surface, sometimes mottled darker green or purple.
The strongly keeled lower surface is more or less suffused with purple.

INFLORESCENCE: Up to 30 in. (75 cm) long. 1-2 erect to arching scapes are
produced from the base of each pseudobulb. They are prominently jointed
with conspicuously swollen nodes. Each node is provided with an elongate,
pointed, tubular, papery sheath which clasps the lower half of the
cylindrical internodes. The apex of the scape has a subconical, sharply
pointed, terminal "bud" made up of several very closely overlapping

FLOWERS: 5-8. Blossoms open singly in succession from the axils of the
sheaths at the top of the scape. Each flower lasts only about a week.
After the initially produced raceme has been exhausted, the scapes
frequently elongate from one of the upper nodes and again produce a series
of flowers so that any given scape may remain in flower for a year or
more. The large, richly colored, yellow and reddish brown flowers are
3.3-5.0 in. (8.5-12.5 cm) across. The long, narrow, erect dorsal sepal and
petals are 2-3 in. (5-8 cm) long but only about 0.2 in. (0.6 cm) wide.
They are colored a rich reddish brown, and their upper portions have
undulate margins. The shorter but much wider lateral sepals, which are
yellow but heavily blotched with reddish brown, are 1.2-2.0 in. (3-5 cm)
long, 0.4-1.0 in. (1.0-2.5 cm) wide, and have strongly undulate margins.
They are wide-spreading but curve downward along the longitudinal axis so
that their tips point straight down. The 3-lobed lip is 1.2-1.8 in.
(3.0-4.5 cm) long and about the same width. Most of the lip is richly
blotched with reddish brown, but there is a conspicuous bright yellow
central patch on the large, spreading mid-lobe. The lateral lobes are
rounded and have undulate margins. The central portion of the lip has a
deep constriction which may sometimes be prolonged into a short, broad
isthmus. The margins of the mid-lobe are strongly undulate. The disc at
the base of the lip has a prominent, fleshy, minutely papillose, 5-part,
tuberculate crest. The column, which is 0.2-0.3 in. (0.6-0.8 cm) long, has
2 prominent lateral wings above which there are 2 elongated extensions
that are thickened at the tip into small blackish glands.

HYBRIDIZING NOTES: Chromosome count is 2n = 38.


Braem, G. J. 1993. Studies in the Oncidiinae. Schlechteriana 4(1-2):8-29.

Dodson, C., and P. de Dodson. 1980. Orchids of Ecuador, Fasc. 2, plates
100-200. Icones Plantarum Tropicarum. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens,
Sarasota, Fla.

Dressler, R. 1993. Field Guide to the orchid of Costa Rica and Panama.
Cornell University Press. New York.

Hamilton, R. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211
Beckwith Road, Richmond, B. C., Canada V6X 1V7.

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

Kennedy, G. 1977. The section Glanduligera of the genus Oncidium. Orchid
Digest 41(4):139-141.

Moir, W. 1975. The butterfly orchids. Orchid Digest 39(1):12-13.

Williams, L., and P. Allen. [1946-1949] 1980. Orchids of Panama.
Monographs in systematic botany, vol. 4. Missouri Botanical Garden, St.
Louis, Mo. 

Copyright 2000, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker
Sheet version 94436920

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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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.