Zygopetalum crinitum

Our featured orchid for August is the Zygopetalum crinitum.   It’s common name is “The Hairy Zygopetalum”.

These beautiful orchids are found at elevations of 600 to 1200 meters in the cool and moist mountain ranges of South America.  Most of them are found in Brazil in the mountains near Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo.    They generally bloom from October through December and they produce a tall flower stalk which usually has eight to ten 9 cm flowers on it.    The flowers are fragrant, waxy and very long-lived.  The flowers are generally yellow-green with purple-brown streaks.  The flowers are also prized in cut-flower arrangements.

They have a reputation of being easy to grow for the home orchid enthusiast.  They like to be evenly moist at all times.  Do not let the potting media dry out completely.  They require medium to bright light, and when the light green leaves show some yellowing you can be assured that maximum light is being absorbed.  They require a medium to fine bark with some perlite added for moisture retention.

My Zygopetalum crinitum is in full bloom right now, so it must be confused about what time of year it is.  I got mine at the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate in 2008, and it has been reliably blooming every year since then.   Give this one a try.  You will be very happy you did.