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Thread: Masdevallia vs. Dracula

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    I received an orchid a few weeks ago simply labeled "Masdevallia." I've got it pretty well narrowed down to M. tovarensis...but I'm not quite sure. I haven't been able to find much information on the Dracula type plants in this category of orchids. What are some of the characteristics of them? Below is a pic of a bloom from my plant (I have no idea of its history):


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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    There are a lot of hybrid Massdies and, unless you have a compelling reason to believe it's a Masd. tovarensis, you should expect an orchid labeled only with the genus is probably a hybrid. Have you asked the source for a more complete ID?
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    I assumed it was a hybrid. The closest looking flower I could find was tovarensis, so I've just been using that species as a basis for care, etc. I doubt if I can source it (received it as a gift) but maybe I can do some checking into it.

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    Where do you keep it? I have trouble with cloud forest plants this time of year, when the indoor humidity is so low, and again in the summer, when the temperature is so high. But they seem happy for a week or two every spring and fall. If I had an ultrahighland Nep chamber, I'd hang them under Nep leaves for some shade. But they aren't good windowsill prospects for much of the US. If I could grow them, I'd have Masdies, Dracs, etc. everywhere.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Same here. I think they're cool. Your plant looks like a tovarensis hybrid. There are lots of 'em. Tovarensis is used to breed white or light colored Masdevallias. It is a somewhat intermediate grower and is not nearly as picky temperature-wise as the M. coccinea group.
    Dracula species typically are grown in baskets because the spikes emerge in a downward position, hanging the flowers below the plant. Draculas have a definite different look, mostly because of a visible lip-once you've seen a few there's no mistaking them
    Trent

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    To be honest, I'm having a difficult time finding a location for it. When I first received it there were tons of blooms (had previously been kept in a large commercial greenhouse). Yesterday I finally placed it in our bedroom in the corner between two windows (one facing south, the other west). There are quite a few trees preventing direct sun, and I adjust the blinds to give it indirect light. I placed it here because this room tends to stay cooler than the rest of the house. It's an old house, so it's not evenly heated and some of the windows are a bit drafty (making it cooler near them at night). I work out of my home a lot of the time, so I'm able to mist it a few times throughout the day.

    I just repotted it a few days ago. It was previously in 100% peat moss, but I created a mixture of medium fir bark, the peat moss, and a handful or two of vermiculite. I think this will help keep the soil fresh and aerated, but the moss will help retain moisture within the mix. I also planted it in a slightly larger pot to allow some room to grow and spread. We'll see how things go from here. I definitely like this little orchids and their growth forms.

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    Sounds like you've got the temperature problem licked. I would be more concerned with humidity. Masdevallia and Dracula really constant humidity.
    Trent

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    the conditions that the plant you have pictured should be in at lease 80-100% humidity and with temps. in the 50-60 range. the reason the flowers crashed was due to the lack of humidity. they care very sensitive to a change in the temp or humidity. they can go with a little temp change but, it is very important to keep the humidity as high as possible.
    George McKay

    In The End We are All Dead
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