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Barkeria barkeriola Rchb. f.

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Charles and Margaret Baker

Barkeria barkeriola Rchb. f. 

AKA: Epidendrum barkeriola Rchb. f. 
Halbinger and Kennedy (1980) stated, "The plant is a somewhat diminutive
version of Barkeria uniflora and it has been suggested by Schlechter,
1927, and Williams, 1951, that it is a variety of B. uniflora. However,
Thien and Dressler, 1970, considered it a clearly distinct species, as we

ORIGIN/HABITAT: Mexico. Plants are found near the Pacific coast in the
States of Nayarit and Jalisco, where they grow from sea level to 3300 ft.
(0-1000 m). Plants have been found growing on scrub brush barely above
high tide near the village of San Blas. They also grow near the highway
that runs between Tepic and Puerto Vallarta where they are found in
ravines and along creeks which often carry water only during the rainy

CLIMATE: Station #76601, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Lat. 20.7N, Long.
105.3W, at 15 ft. (5 m). Temperatures are calculated for an elevation of
3300 ft. (1000 m), resulting in probable extremes of 92F (33C) and 43F

F AVG MAX        75   74   75   76   78   80   82   82   79   80   78   76
F AVG MIN        57   56   55   56   60   65   65   65   65   65   62   59
DIURNAL RANGE    18   18   20   20   18   15   17   17   14   15   16   17
RAIN/INCHES     0.1  0.2    T  0.0  0.1  4.7  5.7  6.4 14.5  5.1  0.9  1.2
HUMIDITY/%       77   77   77   76   75   78   76   78   82   79   79   78
BLOOM SEASON      *    *                        *    *         *    *    *
DAYS CLR        N/A
RAIN/MM           3    5    1    0    3  119  145  163  368  130   23   30
C AVG MAX      23.9 23.3 23.9 24.4 25.6 26.8 27.8 27.8 26.1 26.7 25.6 24.4
C AVG MIN      13.9 13.4 12.9 13.4 15.6 18.4 18.4 18.4 18.4 18.4 16.8 15.1
DIURNAL RANGE  10.0  9.9 11.0 11.0 10.0  8.4  9.4  9.4  7.7  8.3  8.8  9.3

Cultural Recommendations: 

LIGHT: 2500-4000 fc. Rather bright conditions are required, but light
should be filtered or diffused, and direct midday sun should be avoided.
Strong air movement should be provided at all times. 

TEMPERATURES: Summer days average 80-82F (27-28C), and nights average 65F
(18C), with a diurnal range of 15-17F (8-9C). 

HUMIDITY: 75-80% year-round. 

WATER: Rainfall is moderate to heavy in summer and early autumn but
decreases rapidly in autumn into a 5-6 month winter dry season. Cultivated
plants should be watered heavily and often while actively growing, but
their roots must always be able to dry rapidly after watering. Water
should be reduced after new growths mature in autumn. 

FERTILIZER: A balanced fertilizer mixed at 1/4-1/2 recommended strength
should be applied weekly during periods of active growth. Many growers
recommend using a fertilizer lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorus
during late summer and autumn to promote better blooming the next season
and to allow the new growths to harden before winter. 

REST PERIOD: Winter days average 74-76F (23-24C), and nights average
56-59F (13-15C), with a diurnal range of 17-18F (9-10C). Growers are
cautioned that these are the coolest conditions under which this species
should be grown. Because of the range in habitat elevation, plants should
adapt to conditions 8-10F (4-6C) warmer than indicated in the preceding
climate table, but any changes in growing conditions should be made very
gradually. Rainfall averages are quite low during the prolonged dry season
from late autumn through spring. However, the relatively high humidity and
the large diurnal temperature range result in frequent, heavy deposits of
dew. Cultivated plants require much less water in winter and spring, but
they should not remain completely dry for long periods. Occasional early
morning mistings, especially on bright sunny days, should provide the
moisture needed to keep plants from becoming too desiccated. Fertilizer
should be eliminated until normal watering is resumed after new growth
starts in spring. 

GROWING MEDIA: Plants should be mounted on tree-fern or cork slabs, but
humidity must be kept high and the plants watered at least once daily in
summer. Several waterings a day may be necessary for mounted plants during
very hot, dry periods. If plants cannot be mounted, small shallow pots or
baskets should be used with a rapidly draining medium. Although they do
not grow well in pots, some Barkeria species will adapt to growing in
baskets if a minimum amount of very coarse medium, such as chunks of
tree-fern, is used. 

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom season shown in the climate table is based
on cultivation records. In nature, the plants bloom in autumn or early

Plant and Flower Information:

PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A relatively small, 8 in. (20 cm) sympodial epiphyte.

PSEUDOBULB: 8 in. (20 cm) long. As is typical of the genus, the slender
pseudobulbs are little more than swollen spindle-shaped stalks. 

LEAVES: Several. The thin, lanceolate leaves, which are 3 in. (8 cm) long,
are carried near the apex and alternate along the pseudobulb. They are
reddish on the underside with red edges on the upper surface, but color
varies depending on light levels. They are quickly deciduous and normally
absent when the plant blooms. 

INFLORESCENCE: 1.6-11.0 in. (4-27 cm) long. The erect flower stalks emerge
at the tops of the most recently matured pseudobulbs. 

FLOWERS: 2-10 per inflorescence. Pale lilac and white flowers are 1.0-1.4
in. (2.5-3.5 cm) across. Ovate to oblanceolate petals are 0.6-1.0 in.
(1.5-2.5) long. Sepals are slightly longer than the petals, not reflexed,
lanceolate to oblanceolate, and pointed at the tips. The fiddle-shaped lip
is 0.8-1.4 in. (2.0-3.5 cm) long with a rounded or sharply abrupt tip. The
only indication of a callus is two, slightly incurved lines at the base.
Although similar to B. uniflora, this species is readily distinguished by
the fleshy wings on the column, which are widest about the middle, by
sepals that are longer than the petals, and by the ovary having a sac-like



Halbinger, F. 1973. Barkeria barkeriola. Orquidea (Méx.). 3(8):229-233. 

Halbinger, F. and G. Kennedy. 1980. The genus Barkeria. Orchid Digest.

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

McVaugh, R. 1989 [1986]. Orchidaceae, in Flora Novo-Galiciana vol. 16, a
descriptive account of the vascular plants of western Mexico. Ed. W. R.
Anderson. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U. S. A.

Wiard, L. 1987. An introduction to the orchids of Mexico. Comstock
Publishing Assoc. Ithaca and London. 


Halbinger, F. 1973. The genus Barkeria. American Orchid Society Bulletin

Halbinger, F. and G. Kennedy. 1980. The genus Barkeria. Orchid Digest.

Copyright 1997, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker
Sheet version 12282921

Please remember that this sheet is for your use only, and though it was
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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.