Dracula chimaera

Dracula chimaera

Dracula is a genus of over 120 species of orchids that are characterized by flowers with two long spurs.

They are mainly known for some species whose flower looks like a monkey face. They also include some black orchids.

Flower mimics a fungus, both in form, texture and fragrance. By this mimicri it attracts fruit flies that will take care of pollination.

As the orchid prefers cool to moderate temperatures, it is suitable for cultivation indoors.

It belongs to the family Orchidaceae, sub-family Epidendroideae, tribe Epidendreae, sub-tribe Pleurothallidinae. It was previously classified in the genus Masdevallia but became a separate genus in 1978.

Description:

These orchids are epiphytes. They do not have pseudo-bulbs.

The leaves grow in clumps from a short rhizome, in a dense pack of leaves. They are long, slim and pleated with a central well defined rib.

The flowers appear on horizontal or pendulous stems from the base of the plant. Some species have an erect flower stem.

The flowers are generally triangular with two long spurs. They appear separately or sequentially and three species can have up to three simultaneously open flowers on a single stem. In general, they open at long intervals. The sepals and petals are small and slightly swollen. The lip is often very large and may look like a mushroom. Basal the fleshy part of the lip is divided, the end portion is rounded and concave. The edges of the perianth are often fringed. The column is well developed with two pollinia.

Synonym:

Masdevallia

Origin:

Central America and north-west of the Andes: Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru

Habitat:

In ancient and undisturbed clouds forests with high humidity and indirect light



Etymology:

Dracula: from the Latin dracon (dragon)

Care:

Temperature:

Cold to temperate: daytime temperature 13-20 °C, 4-12 °C night temperature

Light:

Partial shade

Hygrometry:

70-90%

Airflow:

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

Fertilizer:

Specialized orchid fertilizer, once a week

Repot:

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

Sub-genera:

  • Dracula
  • Sodiroa
  • Xenosia

The type species is Dracula chimaera.

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