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Masdevallia is a genus with around 639 rhizomatous species in the orchid family, Orchidaceae. Originating from South America, these plants are found naturally in high altitude locations between 2,500-4000m above sea level. They are adapted to moist environments and thus require ample humidity to grow well. Some species are terrestrial and grow in or on the soil, some are epiphytic and able to grow without the need for soil substrate, instead gleaning nutrition from their immediate surroundings. Other species in this genus are termed lithophytes, these plants also grow without soil, but on or in damp rocks. These plants do not possess pseudobulb storage structures as is typical with most epiphytic and terrestrial orchid species. They have fleshy, oval to lance-shaped leaves and species in this genus have a large range of flower colours and forms, including white, yellow, brown, purple, red, pink and patterned combinations of these colours, often with spotted or striped patterning. Flowers range from pastel shades to bright, almost neon shades. They are commonly known as Kite Orchids, after the flower appearance. Flowers are triangular in overall shape, with long kite-tail-like modified leaf structures, termed sepals. These plants are compact and do not typically exceed 40cm in height, a good choice for those with limited space. They have upright habits and do not cope well with drying out or high temperatures, plant in a position of indirect, partial sunlight, in well-draining medium for optimal growth.
How to propagate Masd
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Grown for their beautiful and unusual flowers.