2019 SACRAMENTO ORCHID SHOW

APRIL 13-14, 2019
RAIN OR SHINE
SCOTTISH RITE CENTER, 6151 H ST., SACRAMENTO, C
A. 95819

Admission: $10 (kids under 16 years free with paying adult)

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About the Sacramento Orchid Society

The Sacramento Orchid Society was founded in 1947 as an educational organization dedicated to providing information on the cultivation of orchids to the greater Sacramento community.

Members and non-members are welcome at our FREE Monthly Meetings that feature expert speakers from around the world, opportunities for members to sell plants to one another, a raffle of plants, and a delightful measure of fellowship and good times.

The Society's very active membership grows an almost unimaginable number of orchid species and hybrids on windowsills, patios, in yards, under lights, and in greenhouses.

 
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Orchid of the Month for August, 2019

Masdevallia veitchiana

By Dave Veach



When I first started collecting orchids, I found that there were many that were named after one of my ancestors, Harry Veitch (Veitch is one of the many spellings of my family name). One of the most beautiful and colorful is Masdevallia veitchiana. Naturally, I had to have that orchid.

But before we get to the orchid, let me tell you just a bit about Sir Harry James Veitch. He was an eminent English horticulturist in the nineteenth century. He was the head of the famous James Veitch and Sons nursery in Chelsea, London. During the time where he helped run the nursery, it had the reputation of being the foremost nursery business in the world. While he was in control of the nursery, he sent collectors out to many parts of the world where they collected many different kinds of plants including orchids. The nursery was famous for creating hybrids of many different kinds of plants. In 1856, his foreman at the nursery, John Dominy, created the first man-made orchid hybrid Calanthe x dominii (Calanthe masuca x Calanthe triplicate). He was a great contributor to the horticulture industry in England and he is credited with creating the annual Chelsea Flower Show that continues to this day.

So, it’s obvious that orchids are in my blood (or blood line at least). Masdevallia veitchiana is one of the most beautiful orchids you’re likely to come across. The distinctive orange and purple flowers are easy to spot in any greenhouse or show.

Masdevallia veitchiana in my greenhouse

Masdevallia veitchiana in my greenhouse

Masdevallia veitchiana, also known as Veitch’s masdevallia or king of the masdevallias, is native to Peru and Columbia. It grows in the wild in northwestern Peru and can be found around Machu Pichu. In Peru it is known as gallo-gallo, which means rooster after the rooster-like red comb, crest and wattle of the flower. The plants grow in full sun in the grasses and shrubs of the Andes Mountains. The leaves are protected from the sun by grasses. The flowers are held on a tall inflorescence which allows them to protrude above the grasses. You can image a hillside near Machu Pichu covered with Masdevallia veitchiana swaying in the wind.

I originally got this orchid as a small plant at the POE (Pacific Orchid Exposition) show back in 2016. When I repotted it, I ended up with 2 plants both of which are blooming now. Here is the original plant now. It’s come a long way from the original plant that had only a few leaves.

My original plant today

My original plant today

Being a plant that grows high in the Andes Mountains, it tends to be a cool to cold growing plant. In my greenhouse, it’s never very cool and rarely cold except for the winter. I grow this plant in a plastic basket to allow it to drain thoroughly because it stays constantly wet. It sits where the humidifier puts out its fog which helps to keep it cooler than it might otherwise be. Like most of my orchids, it rarely gets fertilized but it does get plenty of water. Thankfully, this orchid is pretty easy to grow, even for a beginner, and tends to be pretty forgiving of neglect. This is a great orchid to have in your collection.

Care for this orchid is similar to other Masdevallia orchids. Here is the care information for these orchids.

  • Temperature

Cool to Cold

  • Light

These plants grow in bright shade or diffuse, bright conditions.

  • Water/Humidity

These plants tend to prefer 40-70% humidity with excellent air movement. Due to the lack of pseudobulbs, the plant should not be allowed to dry out completely between watering.

  • Fertilizer

½-¼ strength balanced fertilizer every other week. Flush thoroughly between fertilizer applications to wash away any built up salts as they are intolerant of salt buildup.

  • Potting

Potting can be done at any time of the year except during periods of high temperature as these plants grow continuously. They can be mounted if adequate water and humidity are provided or they can be potting in small pots of rapidly draining water-retentive epiphytic mix such as tree fern or a fine fir bark, perlite, charcoal mix or sphagnum moss. Clay pots can be used if plants can be watered sufficiently.

  • Flowering

Up to twice a year. Flowers on new growths as they mature.





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