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Epidendrum schlechterianum Ames.

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ORCHID SPECIES CULTURE
Charles and Margaret Baker

Epidendrum schlechterianum Ames. 

AKA: Nanodes discolor Lindley. Epidendrum brevicaule Schlechter.
Epidendrum congestoides Ames and Schweinfurth. 

ORIGIN/HABITAT: From the States of Guerrero and Oaxaca in Mexico southward
through Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama to the West
Indies, Surinam (Dutch Guiana), Brazil and Peru. These plants grow on
mossy rocks and trees in open or dense humid forests. Although collections
have been reported generally from near sea level to 3600 ft.(1100 m), most
seem to be made near 1000 ft. (300 m). In Costa Rica, however, collections
have been made near San Jose at 4600-5250 ft. (1400-1600 m)

CLIMATE: Station #78615, Flores, Guatemala, Lat. 16.9N, Long. 89.9W, at
377 ft. (115 m). Temperatures are calculated for an elevation of 1000 ft.
(300 m). Record extreme temperatures are not available for this location. 

N/HEMISPHERE    JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
F AVG MAX        78   82   87   90   92   89   87   87   87   85   82   81
F AVG MIN        62   63   65   67   70   71   70   70   70   69   66   64
DIURNAL RANGE    16   19   22   23   22   18   17   17   17   16   16   17
RAIN/INCHES     0.9  0.5  0.4  0.4  1.4  3.2  2.7  2.6  2.8  2.4  1.2  0.7
HUMIDITY/%      N/A
BLOOM SEASON           *   **    *   **   **    *             **         *
DAYS CLR        N/A
RAIN/MM          23   13   10   10   36   81   69   66   71   61   30   18
C AVG MAX      25.6 27.8 30.6 32.2 33.3 31.7 30.5 30.6 30.6 29.4 27.8 27.2
C AVG MIN      16.7 17.2 18.3 19.4 21.1 21.6 21.1 21.1 21.1 20.5 18.9 17.7
DIURNAL RANGE   8.9 10.6 12.3 12.8 12.2 10.1  9.4  9.5  9.5  8.9  8.9  9.5
S/HEMISPHERE    JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC  JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN

Cultural Recommendations: 

LIGHT: 2500-3500 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 87-89F (31-32C), and nights average
70-71F (21-22C), with a diurnal range of 17-18F (9-10C). In the higher
elevation habitat in Costa Rica, conditions summer conditions are 12-15F
(7-8C) cooler than indicated in the preceding climate table. 

HUMIDITY: Averages are not available for this location, but records from
nearby stations in the region indicate probable values near 80%
year-round. 

WATER: Light to moderate through the growing season at this location. The
summer rainy season in the more southerly regions of the habitat is much
wetter than indicated in the climate table, however. Most regions
experience a pronounced winter dry season ranging in length from 1 to 6
months. Cultivated plants should be kept moist with only slight drying
allowed between waterings while actively growing. 

FERTILIZER: A balanced fertilizer, mixed at 1/4-1/2 recommended strength,
should be applied weekly during periods of active growth. Many growers use
a fertilizer with lower nitrogen and higher phosphate in autumn. This
improves blooming the next season and encourages new growths to harden
before winter dry season. Pots should be leached every few weeks to
prevent salt buildup, especially when fertilizer is being applied most
heavily. Plants should first be watered normally to dissolve any
accumulated salts. An hour or so later, the medium is flushed with water
equal to about twice the volume of the pot. Year-round leaching is
important in areas with heavily mineralized water. 

REST PERIOD: Winter days average 78-82F (26-28C), and nights average
62-64F (17-18C), with a diurnal range of 16-19F (9-11C). These
temperatures represent about the average conditions under which these
plants grow in nature. In the more equatorial sections of the habitat,
there is little seasonal variation in temperature, and winter conditions
are about the same the summer conditions indicated in the preceding
climate table. Plants from the higher elevation habitat in Costa Rica,
however, exerience winter temperatures 10-12F (6-7C) cooler than indicated
in the preceding climate table. Although rainfall at this location is low
during a 5-6 month period in winter, the dry season may be as long at 6
months or as short as 1 month at other locations in the habitat. However,
high humidity and nightly cooling results in frequent, heavy deposits of
dew, which makes some additional moisture available to the plants.
Therefore, during this time, water should be reduced but not eliminated
for cultivated plants. They should be allowed to dry out between waterings
but should not remain completely dry for long periods. In most growing
areas, these conditions may be provided by occasional early morning
misting, with a light watering given once every 2-3 weeks, especially if a
period of bright sunny weather is expected. If plants are grown under
cooler conditions during winter, it is very important that water be
reduced even more than recommended. Fertilizer should be reduced or
eliminated during this time. Light levels should be maintained as high as
possible, short of burning the foliage.

GROWING MEDIA: Because of their branching, clump-forming to matted,
sometimes pendent growth habit, these plants are probably more easily
managed if mounted on tree-fern or cork slabs. High humidity must be
maintained, however, and the plants watered at least once daily during
summer. Several waterings a day may be necessary for mounted plants during
extremely hot dry weather. Plants may also be grown in shallow pots or
baskets filled with an open, fast draining medium that allows the roots to
dry rapidly after watering. Repotting or dividing should be done only when
new root growth is just starting. This 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. In nature, these plants flower throughout the
year. 

Plant and Flower Information:

PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A dwarf, clump-forming plant that grows to about 2.5
in. (6.4 cm) tall. 

STEMS: The short, usually erect, often branched, densely leafy stems are
completely concealed by the overlapping bases of the leaves. 

LEAVES: 0.4-1.2 in. (1-3 cm) long. The spreading, fleshy, distichous
leaves, which are very equitant, are 0.1-0.4 in. (0.2-1.0 cm) wide and
have margins that are reddish or transparent. 

INFLORESCENCE: N/A. 

FLOWERS: 1-2 stalkless blossoms appear in the axils of the leaves at the
apex of the stem. The erect flowers, which do not open fully but are still
large for the plant, are about 1.2 in. (3 cm) across. They may sometimes
be difficult to recognize since they have the same fleshy texture and
often have the same coloring as the leaves. The flower color is variable
and may be yellow-green, reddish green, bronze-green, green with a pink
infusion or pale pinkish purple. 

HYBRIDIZING NOTES: N/A. 

REFERENCES: . 

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

Hamer, F. 1983. Orchids of Nicaragua, part 3. Icones Plantarum Tropicarum
fascicle 9, plates 801-900. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South
Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 33577. 

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. 

Williams, L. [1951] 1986. The Orchidaceae of Mexico. CEIBA 2(1-4):1-256. 

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

PHOTOS/DRAWINGS: . 


Copyright 1997, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker
Sheet version 567143

.........................................................................
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

    Orchid Culture & Pollination site    http://www.orchidculture.com
                     
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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.