Monday, January 31, 2011

Lycaste aromatica

Another acquisition at the EPOS meeting in January was a Lycaste aromatica. Seeing as the evening's talk was on this genus, it seemed only appropriate - and it has a very interesting cinnamon scent! Unfortunately, a slug or snail seemed to have had a field day on the blooms, but the plants looked otherwise healthy.

Lycaste aromatica
Defensive spikes
This species is one of the deciduous ones, meaning it loses its leaves during the dormant period. Interestingly, deciduous Lycaste species have spikes on the top of their pseudobulbs. Apparently, they are native to areas that get pretty dry, so I guess a fat, green, juicy pseudobulb would otherwise make a tasty treat for some herbivore! After dropping their leaves, the deciduous Lycaste species should be kept almost dry. The American Orchid Society has a useful culture guide, available here which outlines all their requirements.