Dracula chimaera

Source: Karen Gil

Dracula chimaera

Dracula chimaera is a medium sized orchid with very long flowers on rather long stems.

This is an orchid that likes cold to temperate conditions.

It belongs to the family Orchidaceae, subfamily Epidendroideae, tribe Epidendreae, sub-tribe Pleurothallidinae, genus Dracula.

Description:

This orchid is epiphytic. It has no pseudobulbs.

The leaves grow in clumps from a short rhizome, in a cluster. On each stem appears a single, slender and erect leave.

The flowers appear on a 15 to 60 inches long flower stem, pending from the base of the plant with tubular bracts. Each stem carries up to 6 flowers opening in succession.

Flowers are 6 cm wide and 24 cm long. They have 2 long spurs.

Synonyms:

Dracula senilis,  Masdevallia backhousiana, Masdevallia var. backhousiana, Masdevallia senilis, Masdevallia chimaera var. senilis, Masdevallia wallisii var. stupenda

Origin:

Colombia

Habitat:

Cloud forest, between 1,400 and 2,450 m altitude.

Etymology:

Dracula: from the Latin dracon (dragon)
Chimaera: from the Greek khimaira, the name of a mythical creature, killed by Bellerophon, with a lion’s head, a goat’s body and the tail of a serpent.

Care:

Temperature:

Cold to temperate: diurnal temperature 13-20 °C, nocturnal temperature 4-12 °C

Light:

Partial shade

Hygrometry:

70-90%

Air flow:

Provide good air circulation, which reduces the risk of rot.

Water:

Keep the soil moist at all times! In warm weather, the plant may die after only a few hours of drought.

Substrate:

Use peat moss mixed with bark to keep as much moisture as possible

Pot:

The flower stems are pending, therefore it must be grown on a slate or basket.

Repot:

Every 2 years, in the fall. Do not let the substrate rot completely otherwise the roots may rot and the plant die.

Fertilizer:

Specialized fertilizer for orchids, once a week

Propagation:

By division of the rhizome

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