Saturday, May 9, 2009

Barkeria spectabilis

Barkeria spectabilis - Photo by Richard Lindberg

Barkeria spectabilis - Photo by Richard LindbergThe genus Barkeria (Bark) contains fewer than 20 species growing in Central America. All need a bright and dry winter rest.

Barkeria spectabilis grows in Southern Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador on oak trees above 4000 feet. It is cool to warm growing, needs bright light with even brighter in winter and blooms in spring.

This little twig is my plant, and I have had it for five years. This sort of thing shows up once in awhile just about the time I think I know something about orchids.

It has fooled me into thinking that I was getting close to the right conditions by blooming every year. In fact there is a spike forming right now.

Seeing this great specimen at the San Francisco Orchid Society the other night made me realize that this plant can really be spectabulis when it is well grown.


  1. Hi,
    The roots on your plant look too green. Maybe too much humidity?
    I just got Bark (Scandens) about 2 months ago and it only had one twig growth with leaves on it. I put it on a wooden basket with dried spaghnum moss around around the twig areas and walla! I got a least five new growths; some of the growths coming out of old twigs.
    It gets water almost everyday but it dries fast. I have it outside getting western exposure through a sun screen. We'll see what happens when I have to take it inside in the winter.

  2. The green is algae. You are right, it was too wet, especially through the winter. I have moved it to a warmer, brighter spot and the new roots are fine and it is growing well.

    I have a very wet greenhouse and algae growth is a challenge.

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