Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Coryhopea Red Martian

Coryhopea Red Martian inflorescence with three flowers
This orchid is an intergeneric cross between Stanhopea martiana and Coryanthes macrantha var. aureum.  There is a lot of hybrid vigor to the plant and it grows large rather quickly.  The flowers don’t open fully and are best viewed from below. They are quite spectacular to look at and have been described as alien looking.  The fragrance of the flowers is rather similar to cherry cough syrup or cherry cola.  This is a very agreeable fragrance indeed. There are two leaves per pseudobulb. The leaves are lanceolate in shape 18 to 19 inches (45.7 to 48.3 cm) long, and 3.0 to 4.25 inches (7.6 to 10.8 cm) wide.

Coryhopea Red Martian flower
photographed from below
The flowers are 3.5 to 4.5 inches (8.9- 11.4 cm) wide and a deep red color with many mahogany to red spots on the sepals, petals, and hypochile.  The sepals and petals are cream to white at the tips with red spots.  The upper hypochile is orange-red to deep red in color and the mesochile and horns are yellow with mahogany spots/streaks.  The epichile is bright yellow on the lower portion with deep red spots/streaks, turning solid red on the upper portion..

Coryhopea Red Martian with
human heart shaped buds
Unopened buds are a joy to watch grow and develop.  Once they mature they almost appear to be oddly shaped human hearts.  This makes the opening of the flowers full of anticipation and almost unnerving! I grow this orchid warm and bring it indoors during the winter given that one of the parents of the cross is a warm growing Coryanthes.  It spends the rest of the year growing outdoors on the north side of my house.




  1. These are very attractive and wonderfully exotic. I doubt they came from Mars though. :-J

  2. Yes, I agree these are very exotic. If only they were from Mars, what a great scientific find! lol!