Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cirrhaea dependens

This is a small to medium sized orchid that is native to Brazil and found in seasonally dry forests from elevation of 2,297 to 3,937 feet (700 to 1200 m).  The orchid grows in warm locations and requires part shade to prevent the leaves from burning.  It does well in conditions that are similar for growing most Gongora.  The inflorescences are pendulous  1.0 to 1.3 feet (30-40 cm) long, and emerge from the top of the growing medium, so it is best to grow this orchid in baskets.

Cirrhaea dependens flower "dark form"

The flowers are resupinate so even though the inflorescence grows down, the labellum faces up and opens partially.  The flowers can have a green to yellow background with pink to red spots over the petals and sepals.  The form that is in this photograph is the” dark form” with deep maroon markings on the sepals and petals.  The flowers are also short lived similar to Stanhopea and last for only a few days.
Cirrhaea dependens inflorescence
with partially opened flowers

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