Sunday, 18 January 2015 06:35

Masdevallia imposter

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Name: Masdevallia impostor
Etymology: impostor = pretending, acting
Origin: Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia
Location: epiphyte, between 1500 and 1900m
Propagation: Import
DIfficulty intermediate



Plant blooms from fall to spring with a single 1 cm wide flowers.


Plant is found growing in Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador at elevations of 1500 to 1900 meters


Keep plant in partial shade. Plant can be grown in intermediate conditions. Pot the plant in fine bark with perlite or sphagnum moss. Water regularly and keep potting media moist.


Common Name: The Deciever Masdevallia


Alaticaulia impostor (Luer & R.Escobar) Luer 2006



General Tips


These plants can tolerate a little more sunlight and grow well on an east or west window however, in the summer months must be shaded at mid-day

Temperatures around 20°C are ideal for these plants. It should not be warmer than 28°C at night and no colder than 15°C.

Plants should be watered and sprayed regularly, they don't mind to be dry a day or two.

Relative to the genus minimum concentration and only alternate watering.

These orchids do not need rest. They are cultivated throughout the year.

Flowers are odourless



From orchidweb.

Found at elevations of 1500 to 1900 meters in Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. Spectacular burgundy and yellow, successively-blooming, long-lasting flowers on elegant, 15 - 20" long inflorescences. 


From "orchidkarma"

I got this orchid from Ecuagenera at the show in Gothenburg about a month ago. It is such an impressive species and I have been wanting one for a long time. It came with two old inflorecenses and they came to life again producing new buds as soon as I got it home. The inflorecense measure about 45 cm long and keep growing as it produces several single flowers in succession. The flowers are quite narrow but tall, measuring about 1,5 cm wide by 15 cm tall.

The common name for it comes from the Latin word impostor, and it refers to the long-mistaken identity of the species. Either a part of the subsection Alaticaules in the huge Masdevallia genus, or if you go by Luer’s recent division of Masdevallia into many smaller genera, it would now be called Alaticaulia impostor. Masdevallia, or Alaticaulia impostor, comes from Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador where it has been found in cloud forests at elevations of 1500 to 1900 meters. It can adapt to a fairly wide temperature range, but I grow mine cool and potted in EpiWeb substrate.




The following is a brief conversation from "The Orchid Source Forum" as to why the name "imposter"



So my Masd. impostor is in bloom and I decided to try and look up more info on it. and have found that it has been moved to the genus Alaticaulia. I have never heard of this genus, I was wondering if it was recently created? and also I was wondering what it was an imposter of???? All I could find with google was that it was named masdevallia impostor or 'the deciever Masdevallia' do to its long mistaken identity.......... but nothing says what it was mistaken for!



I believe it was Luer who, from among the subgenera of Masdevallia, established the new genera Acinopetala, Alaticaulia, Buccella, Byrcella, Fissia, Luzana, Megema, Petalodon, Pteroon, Regalia, Reichantha, Spectaculum, Spilotantha, Streptoura, Triotosiphon, and Zahleria. About 1/2 the Masd are no longer in the genus Masd.



Some days I just feel like clubbing a taxonomist over the head........... again and again and again..........


Milan G.M

Citation from Luers monography:

A watercolor painting of this species from near Popayan,Colombia with intended name M. maculata var. popayanensis made by Lehmann around 1878.....

.....and Masdevallia, or recently Alaticaulia impostor was described by Luer and Escobar, 1979. Hundred years later:-)




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