Ionopsis

Oncidium Alliance Species

by Susan Taylor

Originally published in BellaOnline

Posted by Sys Admin over 7 years ago.


This article references Inps. utricularioides, Inps. satyrioides.
Article Blog   Article Index

These cute little miniatures are found from Florida through Bolivia and most of the Caribbean Islands. There are currently about ten species listed and most of them are twig epiphytes or tree growing orchids which need higher light and very quick drying conditions. It is listed as endangered by the USDA so if you ever see one in the wild you are very lucky.

They are similar in growth habit to Tolumnia and need much the same conditions. In general they are warm to hot growing and need year round water and fertilizer to encourage blooming in late spring and during the summer months. As you could see from the pictures, this little plant will put on a spectacular show from a mature plant when well grown. Most people grow it mounted on tree fern or cork so that he flowers can be well displayed as the branched inflorescences fall with the weight of the flowers. As with others that grow in this manner, watch out for spider mites and scale insects as they can hide in the crevasse and can kill the plants quickly.

The three main species grown are Ionopsis utricularioides, Ionopsis satyrioide and Ionopsis paniculata. There is some disagreement as to whether the last is a synonym (or the same species) as utricularioides but the flowering habit is different enough that we’ll address them separately here.

The most spectacular, without doubt, is Ionopsis utricularioides. It can be found from Mexico through Central America and occasionally on the Caribbean Islands and in South Florida. The flowers range from white to dark purple depending upon the cultivar. The branched inflorescence can reach three feet (or approximately 90 centimeters) with a hundred flowers. They are generally grown on small mounts and needs somewhat more shade than the Tolumnias. They need very good air circulation and high humidity year round. Intermediate temperature conditions of 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit, or 26-29 Centigrade, are recommended with a cooling at night of approximately 15 degrees Fahrenheit, or 9.5 Centigrade. The flowers are considered to be long blooming and will provide you with a great show. This is a plant that can be grown in Wardian cases since it remains in the 6 inch or 15 centimeter size range.

Ionopsis satyrioide has a smaller and less spectacular flowering habit, but you can easily see where the name “Violet Orchid” came from when you see it flowering. The flower is generally white with pink or purple striping. Culture is similar to utricularioides.

Share on Social Media:  
Log in to Add a Comment

New Topics

  1. Kate McMillan started topic Horticultural Charcoal vs Activated Charcoal in category General Discussion
  2. Susan smith asked question Vanda Samsri Gory in category General Discussion
  3. Edward Zapata asked question Sale and trade in category General Discussion
  4. Jackie Hartter asked question Cymbidiums not blooming in category General Discussion
  5. Robert Ferguson asked question Neomorrea in category General Discussion

New Comments

  1. Alex Maximiano commented on member plant Oncsa. Sweet Sugar var. Lemon Drop by Mary Lane
  2. Robert H. Findlay commented on member plant Phrag. Sergeant Eric by Robert H. Findlay
  3. Kim Kelley commented on member plant Mex. ghiesbrechtiana by Kim Kelley
  4. Lauren Hutchison commented on article "Orchids and Freaky Weather" by Anu Dharmani
  5. Robert H. Findlay commented on member plant Mps. Hajime Ono '#5' by Robert H. Findlay
  6. Robert Ferguson commented on member plant Bc. Groganiae 'Hutchinson' by Jeanne M Uzar
  7. Sharie Heckaman commented on member plant C. labiata var. Rubra by Marli Guarino
  8. Sharie Heckaman commented on member plant Suara. Rick Beverly 'Valentine's Gift' by George Su
  9. George Su commented on topic "New Intergeneric Orchids" by George Su
  10. Marli Guarino commented on member plant Monnierara Millenium Magic var. Witchcraft by Marli Guarino
  11. Tien Pham commented on topic "Cymbidiums not blooming" by Jackie Hartter
  12. Marli Guarino commented on member plant C. Stradivarius 'Eclipse' by Carlos Bermudez
  13. Carmen Betancourt commented on member plant Den. Adora Nishii by Terry Moore
  14. John Weland commented on member plant Mcp. Tibiana by Blanca Acosta
  15. Carol Holdren commented on member plant Angcm. viguieri by Terry Moore
  16. Carol Holdren commented on topic "Vanda Samsri Gory" by Susan smith
  17. Gilda Gómez commented on member plant C. purpurata var. (flammea x sanguinea) by Carol Holdren
  18. Sys Admin commented on member plant Rcc. Hsinying Tango by Terry Moore
  19. Sys Admin commented on topic "Sale and trade " by Edward Zapata
  20. Emily Quinn commented on member plant Myv. Jamanota Fascination by José Ignacio Pérez