This culture sheet was provided by Charles and Margaret Baker.
Please visit their web site to find out about their Orchid Species Culture books,
Pollination Database, and culture sheet subscription service.
An Introduction to Climate Tables and how to use them is
ORCHID SPECIES CULTURE Charles and Margaret Baker Encyclia cordigera (H. B. and K.) Dressler AKA: Epidendrum atropurpureum Willdenow, E. longipetalum Godefroy-Lebeuf, E. macrochilum E. Hagsater, Encyclia atropurpurea (Willdenow) Schlechter. ORIGIN/HABITAT: Distributed from southern Mexico, through Central America, the West Indies, and into Colombia and Venezuela. E. cordigera is common in the rather dry, scrubby forests of coastal regions from sea level to 2950 ft. (900 m) on both the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the dividing mountain range. In Central America, it is more common on the Pacific side. CLIMATE: Station #78663, San Salvador, El Salvador, Lat. 13.7N, Long. 89.1W, at 2014 ft. (614 m). Record extreme temperatures are 105F (41C) and 45F (7C). N/HEMISPHERE JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC F AVG MAX 90 92 94 93 91 87 89 89 89 87 87 89 F AVG MIN 60 60 62 65 67 66 65 66 66 65 63 61 DIURNAL RANGE 30 32 32 28 24 21 24 23 23 22 24 28 RAIN/INCHES 0.3 0.2 0.4 1.7 7.7 12.9 11.5 11.7 12.1 9.5 1.6 0.4 HUMIDITY/% 63 62 62 65 73 78 75 76 80 77 68 66 BLOOM SEASON * ** ** *** *** *** ** * * * * DAYS CLR @ 6AM 30 19 19 11 4 4 4 6 1 4 17 23 DAYS CLR @ 12PM 29 20 19 16 3 2 3 6 1 7 18 22 DAYS CLR @ 6PM 26 17 21 15 2 1 1 0 0 6 13 16 RAIN/MM 8 5 10 43 196 328 292 297 307 241 41 10 C AVG MAX 32.2 33.3 34.4 33.9 32.8 30.6 31.7 31.7 31.7 30.6 30.6 31.7 C AVG MIN 15.6 15.6 16.7 18.3 19.4 18.9 18.3 18.9 18.9 18.3 17.2 16.1 DIURNAL RANGE 16.6 17.7 17.7 15.6 13.4 11.7 13.4 12.8 12.8 12.3 13.4 15.6 S/HEMISPHERE JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN Cultural Recommendations: LIGHT: 2500-3500 fc. TEMPERATURES: Summer days average 87-89F (31-32C), and nights average 65-66F (18-19C), with a diurnal range of 21-24F (12-13C). Spring is the warmest season, when days average 91-94F (33-34C), and nights average 62-67F (17-19C), with a diurnal range of 24-32F (13-18C). While these temperatures are common over much of the range, values are somewhat cooler in Caracas, Venezuela where E. cordigera was found in abundance before the habitat was covered with concrete and asphalt. In Caracas, days average 78-80F (26-27C), nights average 61-62F (16-17C), with a diurnal range of 16-18F (9-10C). HUMIDITY: Near 80% during the growing season, dropping to 60-65% in winter and spring. WATER: Rainfall is moderate to heavy during the growing season. Cultivated plants should be allowed to dry slightly between waterings. FERTILIZER: 1/4-1/2 recommended strength, applied weekly. A high nitrogen fertilizer is beneficial from spring to midsummer, while a fertilizer high in phosphates should be used in late summer and autumn. High phosphates promote better blooming the next season and encourage new growths to harden before winter. In order to prevent salt buildup, the medium should be leached every few weeks during periods of heavier fertilizer applications. This is especially important in areas with heavily mineralized water. Leaching is performed by watering the plant normally to dissolve any accumulated salts, and then an hour or so later flushing the media with water equal to about twice the volume of the pot. REST PERIOD: Throughout much of the habitat, winter days average 89-92F (32-33C), and nights average 60-62F (16-17C), with a diurnal range of 28-32F (16-18C). Near Caracas, however, days average 75-78F (24-26C), and nights average 56-58F (13-14C), with a diurnal range of 19-21F (11-12C). For 4-6 months in winter, rainfall averages less than 1 in. (25 mm), but moisture is available from heavy dew. In cultivation, water should be reduced during the winter but not eliminated. In most growing areas, plants need an occasional early morning misting, with a light watering once every few weeks. Water is most beneficial during bright, sunny weather. If possible, light levels may be increased in winter to reflect the greater number of clear winter days in the habitat. Fertilizer should be reduced or eliminated until spring. GROWING MEDIA: Plants may be mounted on cork or tree-fern slabs if high humidity can be maintained, and if water can be applied at least once daily during the summer. If potted, an open, fast draining medium such as cork nuggets or medium to large fir-bark is recommended. Repotting is best done as new root growth begins or as soon after flowering as possible. MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: As indicated by the varying conditions found in nature, E. cordigera adapts to either intermediate or warm growing conditions. It tolerates hot daytime temperatures if humidity is high and air movement is strong. Most growers consider this species easy to grow and flower. Plant and Flower Information: PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A moderate to large sympodial epiphyte 12-24 in. (30-60 cm) tall. PSEUDOBULBS: 1-4 in. (3-11 cm) tall. Pseudobulbs are erect, clustered on a short connecting rhizome, and conical to pear-shaped. LEAVES: Usually 2 per growth. The leaves, which arise from the top of the pseudobulb, are strap shaped, leathery, and 6-18 in. (15-47 cm) tall. INFLORESCENCE: 1 per growth. The spike arises from between the leaves at the top of the pseudobulb. It is 6-30 in. (15-76 cm) long, erect to arching, and usually simple, but may occasionally branch. FLOWERS: 3-15 per inflorescence. Blossoms are 2-3 in. (5-8 cm) across, long lasting, and all open at about the same time. They are very fragrant when in direct sunlight. However, the fragrance rapidly disappears if the flowers are shaded, even by a passing cloud. Sepals and petals are green, heavily overlaid with brown or purplish brown. The lip may be white or magenta. Plants from northern South America and Costa Rica usually produce flowers with white lips which are marked with a small magenta spot or streak in the center of the mid-lobe, while flowers on plants from Panama and Mexico normally have lips that are entirely flushed with magenta. HYBRIDIZING NOTES: The chromosome count is 2n = 40, 80, 90. Seed capsules may take as long as 13 months before opening. REFERENCES: Austin, B. 1988. Psychilis atropurpurea-Psychilis bifida; Let's end the confusion. Orchid Digest, Vol. 52, No. 4, Oct.-Nov.-Dec., 1988. Bechtel, H., P. Cribb, and E. Launert. 1980. Manual of cultivated orchid species. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. Dressler, R. L. and G. E. Pollard.  1976. The genus Encyclia in Mexico. Asociación Mexicana DE Orquideología, A. C., Apartado Postal 53-123, México 17, D. F. Gann, B. and J. Byrne, Brassavola nodosa (L.) Ldl. and Encyclia cordigera (HBK.) Dressler in the Colombian Sierra Nevada: Some cultural notes on two long-time favorites. Orchid Digest, Vol 47, No. 3, May-June 1983. Hamilton, R. M. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211 Beckwith Road, Richmond, B. C., Canada V6X 1V7. Rentoul, J. N.  1985. Growing orchids. Book two. Cattleyas and other epiphytes. Timber Press, Portland, Or. Veitch, James, and Sons. [1887-1894] 1963, 1981. Manual of orchidaceous plants. Vols. I-II. James Veitch and Sons, Royal Exotic Nursery, Chelsea, London. Reprint, Vol. 1, A. Asher and Co., Amsterdam, The Netherlands; reprint, Vol. II, Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun, India. Copyright 1997, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker Sheet version 3043311 ......................................................................... 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. ......................................................................... __________________________________________________________________________ "Orchid Species Culture" Charles & Margaret Baker, Portland, Oregon USA Orchid Culture & Pollination site http://www.orchidculture.com email <firstname.lastname@example.org> __________________________________________________________________________ "Orchid Species Culture Vol. 1 - Pescatorea, Phaius, Phalaenopsis, Pholidota, Phragmipedium, Pleione" 250 pages of culture information. "Orchid Species Culture Vol. 2 - Dendrobium" 850 pages of culture information for more than 1230 Dendrobium species. "The genus Paphiopedilum--Natural History and Cultivation" - Part 1 Dr. Guido Braem, Charles and Margaret Baker ISBN 0-9665337-0-4 Full page color photograph of each species. "The genus Paphiopedilum--Natural History and Cultivation" - Part 2 Dr. Guido Braem, Charles and Margaret Baker ISBN 0-9665337-1-2 Full page color photograph of each species. "Orchid Species Culture Vol. 3 - The Laelia/Cattleya Alliance" coming in a few months. __________________________________________________________________________