Stanhopea is a genus of about 60-80 species from Central and South America. The genus is named after Philip Henry STANHOPE, (then) president of the Medico-Botanical Society of London. These epiphytic, but occasionally terrestrial orchids can be found in damp forests from Mexico to NW Argentina.
Philip Henry STANHOPE - 4. Earl Stanhope
They have complex and usually fragrant flowers that are very spectacular however, they last only 1-2 weeks. Their pendant inflorescences are noted for flowering out of the bottom of the containers in which they grow, lending themselves to culture in baskets that have enough open space for the inflorescence to push through.
In nature, the areal roots of the epiphytic growing Stanhopeas often grow upwards building a nest. Here they collect leaves and dust, supplying the plants with nutrients. With most Stanhopea flowers being short lived, the blooms must attract pollinators very quickly. These chemical attractants are generated in the hypochile, attracting the male euglossine bees to the flower. When the bee touches down on the flower, a great effort is made to collect chemical scent - he eventually slides on the waxy surface of the hypochile, gliding down on the slippery lip to exit the flower. The long column is touched in the process, resulting in the bee taking up pollinia at the very tip of the column. When the bee slides down another flower, the pollinia are deposited on the sticky surface of the stigma. In culture, the plants flower spike is 20-30cm, but in nature specimens are collected with spikes of 50cm.
The genus Embreea was included in the Stanhopeas for a long time, but significant differences in flower details were found by DODSON, and he created the genus Embreea with 2 species (so far).
The Stanhopeas prefer a moderate climate. In wintertime the temperature should not drop to less than 14°c. (57.2°F) and whenever there is a possibility in summertime they like to be grown outside. They can be grown in wooden baskets or grid pots so that the flower spikes can find their way through the base. From late autumn till spring, keep the plants a bit drier with no fertiliser, but when the new shoots have developed, water the plants regularly and supply nutrients. The best time for repotting is when the new shoots and roots are showing, but don’t fertiliser(sic) for another 3-4 weeks. New roots need to be hungry to grow fast!
List of most of the recognised species (nearly complete):
Stan. anfracta (SE. Ecuador to Bolivia).
Stan. annulata (S. Colombia to Ecuador).
Stan. avicula (Panama).
Stan. candida (S. Trop. America).
Stan. carchiensis (Colombia to Ecuador).
Stan. cirrhata (C. America)
Stan. confusa (Costa Rica)
Stan. connata (Colombia to Peru).
Stan. costaricensis (C. America)
Stan. deltoidea (Peru to Bolivia).
Stan. dodsoniana (NC. & S. Mexico).
Stan. ecornuta (C. America).
Stan. embreei (Ecuador).
Stan. florida (Ecuador to Peru).
Stan. frymirei (Ecuador).
Stan. gibbosa (C. America).
Stan. grandiflora (Trinidad to S. Trop. America).
Stan. graveolens (Mexico to C. America, Brazil to NW. Argentina).
Stan. greeri (Peru).
Stan. haseloviana (N. Peru).
Stan. hernandezii (C. & SW. Mexico).
Stan. impressa (Colombia to Ecuador).
Stan. inodora (Mexico - Chiapas) to C. America).
Stan. insignis (SE. & S. Brazil)
Stan. intermedia (SW. Mexico).
Stan. jenischiana (W. South America).
Stan. lietzei (E. & S. Brazil).
Stan. lowii (Colombia).
Stan. maculosa (W. Mexico).
Stan. madouxiana (Colombia).
Stan. maduroi (Panama)
Stan. manriquei (Peru)
Stan. martiana (SW. Mexico).
Stan. napoensis (Ecuador)
Stan. naurayi (Peru)
Stan. nigripes (Peru).
Stan. novogaliciana (Mexico - Nayarit, Jalisco).
Stan. oculata (Mexico to Colombia, SE. Brazil)
Stan. ospinae (Colombia).
Stan. panamensis (Panama).
Stan. peruviana (Peru).
Stan. platyceras (Colombia)
Stan. posadae (Colombia).
Stan. pozoi (Ecuador to Peru).
Stan. pseudoradiosa (SW. Mexico).
Stan. pulla (Costa Rica to Colombia).
Stan. quadricornis (Guatemala).
Stan. radiosa (W. Mexico).
Stan. reichenbachiana (Colombia).
Stan. ruckeri (Mexico to C. America).
Stan. saccata (Mexico -Chiapas to C. America).
Stan. schilleriana (C. America).
Stan. shuttleworthii (Colombia).
Stan. stevensonii (Colombia).
Stan. tigrina (Mexico).
Stan. tigrina var nigroviolacea (Mexico)
Stan. tricornis (W. South America).
Stan. wardii (C. America to Venezuela).
Stan. warszewicziana (Costa Rica).
Stan. xytriophora (Peru to Bolivia).
The above is from roellke-orchideen (English version)
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