Orchid casualties are inevitable in any collection, even for experienced growers. My latest loss was this adorable mini Oncidium species, a victim of some devilish raccoons.
I bought this plant many years ago, and always grew it outdoors. It’s been a stubborn species, and only bloomed for me twice. A couple weeks ago, I found the plant torn out of its flowerpot and destroyed. It may have been a bird or a squirrel, but raccoons are the most likely culprits. They regularly visit our backyard after dark, sometimes in groups, sometimes alone. They usually leave my plants in peace, but occasionally knock over flowerpots or dig in the bark. It’s helped to give them a clear route to climb and walk through my flowerpots, which has lessened their damage. Their dexterous hands, however, can make quick work of any plant they wish to destroy. I don’t know why they picked on this one, but fortunately, I have a few photos as mementos.
This Andes native has had many names. I bought it as Symphyglossum sanguineum, but it’s also been known as Cochlioda stricta, Cochlioda sanguinea, Symphyglossum ecuadorense, and Odontoglossum sanguineum. It’s currently called Oncidium scriptum. No matter the name, keep it away from raccoons.
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