Masdevallia Weather

With cool, foggy weather here in San Francisco, and even some unusual late spring showers this week, it’s the perfect climate for Masdevallias. No wonder that we have 3 different kinds in bloom at once. This first set shows a great purple hybrid with typical Masdevallia traits, like the triangular shape and bright colors. The last photo in the set shows a less noticeable family trait, with a close-up of the tiny petals and lip inside the flower.

Masdevallia flowerMalaxis flower

Masdevallia flower opening after rainstormSmall petals and lip inside a Masdevallia flower

Despite the common misconception that all orchids want warm temperatures, Masdevallias are native to cool, high-altitude rainforests with constant rain or fog. They range from mountains in Mexico and Central America south into the Andes. In cultivation they need a cool, damp climate, although they must be protected from freezing. There are warmer growing varieties also, but no matter what climate they prefer, Masdevallias need daily watering and high humidity. This orange hybrid has been a reliable bloomer for years, and enjoys living outside all year long in the San Francisco fog.

Masdevallia flowersMasdevallia flower

Masdevallia flowersMasdevallia flowers

This final set shows an extra small species from Ecuador. It’s one of the only members of the vast Masdevallia family to have multiple blooms on each flower spike. In its native home, it lives in a forest that receives very little rain, but constant fog and mist. No wonder it’s enjoying our weather!

Masdevallia flowersMasdevallia flower side view

Masdevallia flowers top viewMasdevallia flower close-up

Explore posts in the same categories: Cool Growers, Mini Orchids, Orchids in the Wild, Photos, Watering

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8 Comments on “Masdevallia Weather”

  1. Dave Says:

    Masdevallias are my personal favorite – the three tips are like arrows saying, “Look inside!” They also have some of the most amazing shades of purple, gradients between two colors, and even stripes. Although not big and showy like some other orchids, there is something about Masdevallias that captures one’s attention. They certainly mesmerize me, and I love taking their photos.

  2. Emi Says:

    Hi, Congratulations to the site owner for this marvelous work you’ve done. It has lots of useful and interesting data.

  3. Paul73 Says:

    Great photographs! Those flowers are tiny!

  4. Robin Ng Says:

    Beautiful! They’re like triangular gems. Thanks for the photos.

  5. Joy Blake Says:

    I received a masdevallia as a gift years ago, but I didn’t know how to take care of it. I only gave it water once a week, so now I know why it didn’t survive. Maybe I’ll try again with one of the warmer growing types. Thanks for the pretty pictures.

  6. paula Says:

    I like the little white flowers w/yellow tips. great photos!

  7. Georgia Says:

    it would be good if you had photos of some of the kinds with stripes.

  8. rachel Says:

    Bravo, seems like wonderful flowers!!!