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Schomburgkia galeottiana Richard

This culture sheet was provided by Charles and Margaret Baker.
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Charles and Margaret Baker

Schomburgkia galeottiana Richard

AKA: Bletia lepidissima Rchb. f., Myrmecophila chionodora (Rchb. f.)
Rolfe, Myrmecophila chionodora var. kimballiana (Rchb. f.) Kennedy,
Myrmecophila galeottiana (Richard) Rolfe, Myrmecophila lepidissima (Rchb.
f.) Rolfe, Myrmecophila sanderiana (Rolfe) Rolfe, Schomburgkia chionodora
Rchb. f., Schomburgkia chionodora var. kimballiana Rchb. f., Schomburgkia
galeottiana var. chionodora (Rchb. f.) Jones, Schomburgkia galeottiana
var. kimballiana (Rchb. f.) Jones, Schomburgkia rhionodora var.
kimballiana Rchb. f. (A misprint for chionodora), Schomburgkia sanderiana
Some writers believe that Schomburgkia galeottiana is the same as
Schomburgkia humboldtii from Venezuela, being "an interesting example of
disjunct distribution between South and Central America." Most authorities
treat them as separate species, however. If in the end they are found to
be a single species, the name Schomburgkia humboldtii would have priority
under the rules of nomenclature and Schomburgkia galeottiana would become
a synonym of Schomburgkia humboldtii.

ORIGIN/HABITAT: Mexico and Guatemala. In Mexico, plants are found in the
Pacific-facing lowlands and foothills in the states of Guerrero, Jalisco,
and Michoacán. They usually grow at 100-1300 ft. (25-400 m), but plants
are reported as high as 3300 ft. (1000 m). They grow high in trees in
dense clumps of tropical-deciduous- or subdeciduous-forest along highways
or in similar locations where they receive high light and air movement.

CLIMATE: Station #76805, Acapulco, Mexico, Lat.16.8N, Long. 99.8W, at 10
ft. (3 m). Temperatures are calculated for an elevation of 1000 ft. (300
m), resulting in probable extremes of 94F (34C) and 57F (14C).

F AVG MAX        82   84   84   84   86   86   86   86   85   85   85   84
F AVG MIN        67   67   67   68   71   73   72   72   72   71   69   67
DIURNAL RANGE    15   17   17   16   15   13   14   14   13   14   16   17
RAIN/INCHES     3.2    T  0.0    T  1.4 12.8  9.1  9.3 13.9  6.7  1.2  0.4
HUMIDITY/%       75   75   75   75   74   77   77   77   80   79   77   75
BLOOM SEASON                          *                        *    *    *
DAYS CLR        N/A
RAIN/MM          81    1    0    1   36  325  231  236  353  170   30   10
C AVG MAX      27.8 28.9 28.9 28.9 30.0 30.2 30.1 30.0 29.4 29.4 29.4 28.9
C AVG MIN      19.4 19.3 19.3 19.9 21.5 22.6 22.1 22.1 22.1 21.5 20.4 19.3
DIURNAL RANGE   8.4  9.6  9.6  9.0  8.5  7.6  8.0  7.9  7.3  7.9  9.0  9.6

Cultural Recommendations:

LIGHT: 3500-4500 fc. Plants need high light, but in areas with many clear
summer days, light may be somewhat filtered or diffused. Growers recommend
hanging plants high in the greenhouse near the glass where they will
receive the brightest possible light. In some areas, plants may need
protection from direct midday sun. Strong air movement should be provided
at all times.

TEMPERATURES: Summer days average 86F (30C), and nights average 72-73F
(22-23C), with a diurnal range of 13-14F (8C).

HUMIDITY: 75-80% year-round.

WATER: Rainfall is heavy in summer and early autumn. Monthly amounts then
diminish rapidly into the dry season that lasts from late autumn to
spring. Cultivated plants should be watered frequently while actively
growing, but the roots must always dry rapidly after watering. After new
growths mature in autumn, water should be reduced so plants can dry out
between waterings.

FERTILIZER: 1/4-1/2 recommended strength, applied weekly during periods of
active growth. Most growers use a balanced fertilizer, but others
recommend a lower nitrogen fertilizer and a higher phosphate formula in
late summer and autumn, as that ratio promotes better blooming the next
season and the new growths to mature before the winter dry season. 

REST PERIOD: Winter days average 82-84F (28-29C), and nights average 67F
(19C), with a diurnal range of 15-17F (8-10C). During the prolonged dry
season, which starts in late autumn and lasts through spring, rainfall
averages are rather low. In fact, only a trace of rainfall is received
during the driest part of the season. However, the high humidity and the
relatively large diurnal temperature range indicates frequent heavy
deposits of dew. Therefore, while water should be reduced for cultivated
plants in winter and spring, they should not be completely dry for long
periods. Occasional early morning mistings, especially on bright sunny
days, should provide the moisture needed and keep plants from becoming too
dry. Water should be increased slightly if pseudobulbs show excessive
shriveling. Fertilizer should be reduced or eliminated until new growth
starts and normal watering is resumed in spring.

GROWING MEDIA: Plants are usually grown in baskets or shallow pots using a
very open, fast-draining medium that allows the roots to dry rapidly after
watering. Charcoal is often added to help hold the medium open and help
prevent souring. Plants often sulk for several years after repotting or
dividing, so growers recommend that plants be repotted or divided as
infrequently as possible. A medium that does not break down rapidly is
best and can be based on materials such as chunks of tree-fern fiber,
extra coarse fir bark, or cork nuggets. Plants should grow over the side
of the pot for several seasons before repotting, waiting to repot until
the medium starts to break down. When repotting is necessary, however, it
is best done just as new roots are starting to grow, which is when the
plant is most able to become reestablished as rapidly as possible. Plants
may be mounted on tree-fern or cork slabs if humidity is high and plants
are watered at least once a day in summer. Mounted plants may need several
waterings a day during very hot, dry weather.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom season shown in the climate table is based
on cultivation reports. In the habitat, plants flower from late summer
through autumn.

Plant and Flower Information:

PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A moderate-to-large, coarse, 9-19 in. (22-47cm)
sympodial epiphyte..

PSEUDOBULB: 4-12 in. (10-30 cm) long. The elongated pseudobulbs have 3-6
nodes.  They are terete when young but become somewhat grooved with 8-15
angles when mature. Each growth is 0.8-1.6 in. (2-4 cm) thick at the
somewhat rounded base then tapers gradually to the apex where it is
0.4-1.0 in. (1.0-2.5 cm) thick. Kennedy (1979) included this species in
his list of plants with hollow pseudobulbs, McVaugh (1989) states that
plants from southwestern Mexico have solid pseudobulbs.

LEAVES: 5-7 in. (12-17 cm) long, 2-3 times as long as they are wide.
Growths produce 2-4 coarse, very thick, leathery leaves, which are carried
at the top of each pseudobulb. The elliptical leaf blades are concave on
the bottom side. 

INFLORESCENCE: 39-79 in. (100-200 cm) long. The peduncle, which emerges at
the top of the most recently matured pseudobulb, is commonly half the
length of the entire inflorescence and is covered with somewhat leathery
sheathing bracts that are 0.6-0.8 in. (1.5-2.0 cm) long. The panicle on
the upper half of the inflorescence is made up of many 1.0-1.6 in.
(2.5-4.0 cm) long branches.

FLOWERS: 10-15. The showy blossoms open in succession starting at the
bottom branches of the panicle. Flowers are 2.4-2.8 in. (6-7 cm) across
with sepals and petals that are more or less a uniform lavender or purple
but the petals may be somewhat darker at the edges. The lip is white or
yellowish white in the throat. The upturned tips of the lateral lobes and
the midlobe are either the same color as the sepals and petals or are a
darker magenta-purple. Sepals are more rippled than the petals, but all
are less wavy or crisped than other schomburgkias. Petals are noticeably
wider than the sepals and stand out at almost right angles to the dorsal
sepal. The 3-lobed lip has sidelobes that turn up to form a tube around
the column and a open fully midlobe which is semicircular, fan shape with
a wavy surface and an indented apex. The lip has 3-5 keeled or raised
veins that extend from near the base of the lip well onto the midlobe. The
column is comparatively slender. The anther cap shows divergent lobes
which are sometimes described as horns.



Hamilton, R. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211
Beckwith Road, Richmond, B. C., Canada V6X 1V7.

Kennedy, G. 1979. The genera Schomburgkia and Myrmecophila. Orchid Digest,
43(6): 204-211.

McVaugh, R. 1989 (1986). Orchidaceae, in Flora Novo-Galiciana vol. 16, a
descriptive account of the vascular plants of western Mexico. Ed. W. R.
Anderson. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U. S. A.

Wiard, L. 1987. An introduction to the orchids of Mexico. Comstock
Publishing Assoc. Ithaca and London.

Withner, C. 1993. The cattleyas and their relatives, vol. 3: the
Schomburgkia, Sophronitis, and other South American genera. Timber Press,
Portland, OR.

Copyright 1999, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker
Sheet version 77078058

Please remember that this sheet is for your use only, and though it was
provided free of charge, it may not be reproduced or retransmitted in
any way without permission.

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