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Orchid Species: Thecostele elmeri

Kew currently accepted name is Thecostele alata

Thecostele elmeri is an orchid species identified by (Ames) Ames in 1914. Culture information and photos for this orchid are commonly detailed under the currently accepted name of Thecostele alata.
Thecostele (Tcs.)
(Ames) Ames
ORIGIN: Found from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, Borneo, Java, Sumatra and the Philippines in evergreen in semi-deciduous and deciduous dry lowland forests and savana-like woodlands at elevations of sea-level to 1800 meters.

DESCRIPTION: Small sized, hot to warm growing epiphyte occurring in lowland and lower montane forests with clustered, ovoid to ellipdsoidal, compressed, unifoliate, deeply sulcate pseudobulbs carrying a single, apical, thinly coriaceous, arcuate, linear-lancelate, to elliptic-obovate, acute leaf with a grooved stalk that blooms on a pendant, laxly 20 to 40 flowered, 6 to 20 [15 to 50 cm] long, slender, flexuous, branching inflorescence arising from the base of the mature, often leafless pseudobulb with small, elliptic-lanceolate floral bracts with short lived, yet successively opening so they last for months, flowers occurring in the early spring as new growths appear. The inflorescence lengthen as the flowers open and new ones arise and the process can take 2 to 3 months. The cute, insect-like flowers are slightly scented and are incredibly intricate if viewed with a magnifying glass. Water copiuosly and fertilize often as the new growths arise and grow but as they mature in late summer and early fall it is best to slowly decrease the water and fertilizer until none is given for a month towards the end of the winter. During this time the leaves will yellow and fall, do not worry they are meant to do this but in nature you can often find it with leaves even as it is blooming. I mounted mine in a wood slat basket so the inflorescence can hang over the side.

FLOWER SIZE: 1/2 inch [1.25 cm] -- information provided by Jay Pfahl, author of the Internet Orchid Species Encyclopedia (IOSPE).
Other Names
Genus Name Genus Grex Name Year Author
Add+ Thecostele Tcs alata 1874 (Roxb.) C.S.P.Parish & Rchb.f.
Add+ Collabium Coll annamense 1950 Gagnep.
Add+ Collabium Coll wrayi 1890 Hook.f.
Add+ Cymbidium Cym alatum 1832 Roxb.
Add+ Thecostele Tcs maculosa 1893 Ridl.
Add+ Thecostele Tcs poilanei 1931 Gagnep.
Add+ Thecostele Tcs wrayi 1912 (Hook.f.) Rolfe
Add+ Thecostele Tcs zollingeri 1857 Rchb.f.
Add+ Pholidota Pho elmeri 1912 Ames
Most awarded/recent cultivars: Tcs. alata 'Magnifico' (1985)
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