Clowesia / Species

 

In the orchid world, "species" are those orchids that occur naturally in nature. Depending who you ask, the blooms of a species is better, the same or not as dramatic as the bloom of a hybdrid orchid. Most species orchids are less forgiving in a growing area they are not accustomed to and the result will be disappointing (specially for the orchid). Understanding the cultivation needs of species orchids will serve as a guide for the care of a hybrid that includes particular species in its background.

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Clowesia rosea

 

Common Name: The Rose-colored Clowesia

Flower Size 1" [2.5 cm]

 

Found in Michoacan and Oaxaca states of Mexico on the Pacific slope in oak forests or tropical deciduous forests at elevations around 500 to 1300 meters as a small to medium sized, warm to cool growing, deciduous leafed epiphyte with pseudobulbs enveloped basally by gray overlapping sheaths and carrying 4 to 5, apical, elliptic-lanceolate, acuminate, flexible, long-attenuate to the articulate base leaves that blooms in the early winter on a short to 4 3/4" [to 12 cm], racemose inflorescence carrying several, campanulate, fragrant flowers and arises from the base of mature leafless or leafed psuedobulbs.

 

This species starts to lose its mature leaves in the fall so as this occurs water and fertilize much less, until the new growths appear in the spring and are 1" or longer. At that time you can resume a well watered and heavily fed regimen, thereby allowing the new pseudobulb and leaves to mature.

 

 

Clowesia warczewitzii

 

Common Name Warczewitzii's Clowesia [Polish Orchid Collector 1800's]

Flower Size 1 1/2" [6.25 cm]

 

This species is a medium sized, warm to hot growing epiphyte that is found in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana and Ecuador in tropical, moist forests at altitudes around 70 to 500 meters with narrowly ovoid to oblong, sulcate with age pseudobulbs carrying 4 to 6 apical, elliptic-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, deciduous leaves that blooms in the fall in the northern hemisphere [spring in Ecuador] on a pendant, to 15" [30 cm] long, several [15 to 20] to many flowered, racemose inflorescence that arises from the base of a mature pseudobulb without leaves and carries showy, fragrant, flsehy flowers.

 

Photo by © Jay Pfahl

 

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