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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.  1987. Encyclopaedia of cultivated orchids. Faber and Faber, London. Williams, L.  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. ......................................................................... __________________________________________________________________________ "Orchid Species Culture" Charles & Margaret Baker, Portland, Oregon USA Orchid Culture & Pollination site http://www.orchidculture.com email <firstname.lastname@example.org> __________________________________________________________________________ "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. "The genus Paphiopedilum--Natural History and Cultivation" - Part 1 Dr. Guido Braem, Charles and Margaret Baker ISBN 0-9665337-0-4 Full page color photograph of each species. "The genus Paphiopedilum--Natural History and Cultivation" - Part 2 Dr. Guido Braem, Charles and Margaret Baker ISBN 0-9665337-1-2 Full page color photograph of each species. "Orchid Species Culture Vol. 3 - The Laelia/Cattleya Alliance" coming in a few months. __________________________________________________________________________