History of orchids

History of orchids



Orchids among the flower species are certainly to be considered among the oldest as their appearance on earth dates back to about 65 million years ago. The most ancient remains were found in Monte Bolca near Verona.

The name orchid was first used by Theophrastus, ancient Greek philosopher who lived between the 6th and 5th centuries BC. who wrote the first systematic treatise on pharmaceutical botany "De historia plantarum" where he speaks of some plants that had two rounded tubercles at the base of the roots. From the similarity with the testicles of man, Theophrastus called them "Orchis" which in Greek means precisely "testicles" hence the name "orchids".

Dioscorides, in the first century A.D. he mentions orchids in his herbal and botany books.

However, it was necessary to reach the 11th century to find the first real treatise on the cultivation of orchids published in China. The Chinese they loved and love this flower very much and orchids were associated with their spring festivals and were used to ward off evil influences and in particular they were used against sterility.

Even the Aztecs they knew the Orchid in particular the "Vanilla" species which was used to create fragrant drinks based on coffee, cocoa and vanilla using the pod.

In the 16th century, L. Fuchs, a German botanist, described the orchid in an extensive treatise "Historia stirpium". In the same period the first tropical orchid arrived in Europe from the West Indies thanks to Hernandez Francisco, Jesuit priest.

However, it will be necessary to wait until the eighteenth to have the botanical classification thanks to Charles Linnaeus, great Swedish botanist and father of the current botanical classification of plants in his "Species plantarum".

But only a century later the true passion for orchids broke out thanks also to C. Darwin which studies their species and reproduction techniques. From then on, the orchid hunt begins, looking for new species. The lessons held at the Royal Horticultural Society English, then and now, the main institution active in the search for new plant species.

The first species of orchids introduced in European greenhouses were the Cymbidium, Epidendrum, Phaius, Vanilla.

It was mainly England and following Holland that contributed most to discovering and spreading these extraordinary plants all over the world. In fact, many of the main orchids still known bear the name of researchers and enthusiasts of the time such as James Veitch from which the name of theEpiphronitis Veitchii or William Cattley hence the name of the Cattleya, just to name a few.

Since then the orchid has spread all over the world and it is hoped that the worst enemy of this plant, man, will not continue to destroy its natural environment, the tropical forests.

Now, we offer you a roundup of beautiful orchids.

GIROS promotes the knowledge, study and protection of Italian wild orchids. In particular, the association's aims are to encourage interest in wild orchids and promote their protection [2] study the distribution of orchids throughout the country [3] promote initiatives to promote knowledge of wild orchids as scientific publications and outreach, excursions [4], meetings [5], photographic exhibitions [6] [7], courses and meetings [8] also collaborates with various kinds of organizations [9] [10] and universities [11] [12].

The association was born on the initiative of the naturalist Paolo Liverani who in Faenza, on December 16, 1993 wrote a letter addressed to the main Italian naturalists, botanists and orchidologists, with the intention of organizing a meeting with the aim of establishing an Italian "orchidological association" , similar by statute to those already present at the time in France (Société Française d'Orchidophilie or SFO [13]) and Germany (Arbeitskreise Heimische Orchideen or AHO [14]). This meeting was held at the civic museum of natural sciences in Faenza on 23 January 1994 and saw the participation of about fifty people. The constitution of the association took place on May 8, 1994 with a formal notarial deed by 14 founding members. On November 27, 1994, the first social assembly was held, which over the years first became a gathering of members until it became a real scientific convention. Each year the conference has a different location in order to explore new geographical areas and study the different endemics present. Over the years, the number of members has grown steadily (from 102 in 1994 to 435 in 2017), with the participation of university professors, botanists, researchers, biologists and simple enthusiasts [15]. In 2015, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of its foundation, GIROS published a volume relating to its first twenty years of activity [16]. GIROS was a member of the European Orchid Council from 2015 to 2017, a non-profit organization that groups together European orchidological societies and other non-commercial institutions dealing with orchids [17].

  • GIROS News (GN) - Official abbreviation of the Journal in bibliographic citations: "GIROS Not." [18]

Since 1995 GIROS has published a magazine, under the direction of Mauro Biagioli. Until 2014 it was a quarterly "bulletin", GIROS News, with color photos, information on the activities of the association and on the life of the sections, articles on botanical reports, scientific dissemination, reviews and national and international specialist bibliography. [19] [20]. Since 2015 (year XXI) the magazine has changed its name and has been profoundly renewed. [21]

  • GIROS Spontaneous Orchids of Europe - European Native Orchids (OSE-ESO) - Official abbreviation of the Journal in bibliographic citations: "GIROS Orch. Spont. Eur." "- ISSN 2281-6437 [22]

Each issue is divided into two parts: a first part with the title GIROS Spontaneous Orchids of Europe - European Native Orchids, the actual scientific journal, with informative and thematic articles, researches and reports. The committee of external referees is made up of 17 scholars, among the greatest Italian and foreign experts. The second part, which retains the title "GIROS News", is the part dedicated to the associative life of GIROS, with reports of meetings, trips and gatherings and with various old and new sections.

In the two journals from 1995 to date, more than 150 new botanical entities belonging to the Italian orchidological flora have been described by scholars and botanists, including new species, subspecies, varieties, forms and intraspecific and intergeneric hybrids. [23]

GIROS published the monograph in 2009 Orchids of Italy, dedicated to Italian wild orchids [24]. It is the first monograph on Italian orchids updated to the latest molecular and taxonomic research. The introductory chapters are written by orchidaceae specialist academics. The cards of the 190 Italian entities are described by 33 different authors competent for genres or geographic sectors while 44 authors contributed to the iconography, which illustrates both the entire plant, the details and the chromatic variants [25].

After the first edition was sold out in 2012, the new, expanded and updated edition was published in April 2016. [26] In addition to the updates, data on the Conservation of orchids in situ and ex situ have been added, with the status of the relative experiences, especially important for rare or endangered species. 231 species and subspecies are dealt with in the cards: for the sake of clarity some of the 30 genera - especially the more complex ones - have been almost completely reorganized (Ophrys, Epipactis) or more detailed (Platanthera, Dactylorhiza, Serapias). The part on hybrids has been greatly enhanced, with rich photographic documentation, and the bibliography. A novelty are also the "medallions" - interspersed between the pages of the book - of Italian botanists of the 18th and 19th centuries who dealt with orchids.

In 2018 it was released with international circulation, as the first Supplement of the magazine "GIROS Orch. Spont. Eur." (Special Issue 1 - 2018), the bibliographic monograph Bibliography of European and Mediterranean Orchids, update of the basic work for each research on this orchidological sector by Prof. Willing Bibliographie über die Orchideen Europas und der Mittelmeerländer. It, after its first release in 1977 (which listed the publications between 1744 and 1976), had been updated with 2 subsequent supplements, but had stopped in 2001. Thanks to GIROS members Prof. Paolo Grünanger and Dr. Manfred Hennecke , this third supplement covers all the works of the period 2002-2015, also pointing out previous publications that had escaped.

In the context of environmental protection and habitat conservation, GIROS promotes on the national territory, through the activities of the members of the local sections, collaborations with the main university research bodies and natural science museums. [27] [28]

Distributed over a large part of the national territory, the association is divided into various territorial sections. [29]

Colombia, the land of orchids

Villa de Leyva, Plaza Mayor

Country of a thousand contradictions and very often known for the negativities reported in the news, Colombia represents a destination full of offers for the visitor: folklore, nature, history, an alternation of colors in a vast territory, a country rich in indigenous culture, such as few other countries in Latin America, a universe of infinite ideas.

Colombia is the land of orchids, lush Amazonian flora, juicy exotic fruits, verses by Gabriel García Márquez and paintings by Fernando Botero. After more than half a century of civil war, clashes with guerrillas and drug traffickers, this nation just wants to be reborn, to show its beauty and finally to read new newspaper headlines

Our journey begins in the capital Bogota, a city that surprises in an unexpected way: there are many bicycles that seem to be in Copenhagen (360 km of cycle paths), houses more colorful than those of Burano and top-class chefs worthy of Manhattan. Bogota is huge, a metropolis at 2640 meters above sea level, surrounded by even higher mountains. The colored postcard houses de La Candelaria, in the center, coexist with frighteningly high skyscrapers and whole new very chic neighborhoods that from the Chapinero area climb more and more up the slopes of the valley. Space is limited and 8, perhaps 10 million inhabitants according to estimates, are many, and constantly increasing due to the escape of farmers from the conflict zones in the (distant) border. The city is dense, all up and down, urban expansion and ever-increasing prices and is literally engulfing the most popular suburbs. The most dangerous barrios are now confined to the extreme periphery and this means that in the center and with due care, just to dispel a myth, Bogota is no more dangerous than Rome or New York. The historic center with the Rumba house all colored, Bolivar square, the Sanctuary Nuestra Señora del Carmen are the must-see of the historic center, along with a couple of museums.

The Botero Museum traces the artist's history and also collects works by Picasso, Mirò, Degas, Monet while the Gold Museum houses the largest collection of pre-Columbian artifacts in the world. Here are collected the treasures of eleven goldsmith peoples of ancient Colombia: necklaces, rings, earrings, statuettes, masks, vases, plates, shields are evidence of extinct peoples. The most famous jewel is the famous balsa muisca representing the gold offering ceremony by an indigenous chief aboard a raft. The balsa was found in April 1969 by a farmer who was hoeing a potato field and who sold it for the then considerable sum of 168 thousand pesos. For contemporary art lovers there is also the Mambo, many planetariums to visit and lush urban gardens such as the Bolivar Park. All tourists do not leave the city without a visit to the suggestive sanctuary of Monserrate, at more than 3000 meters and reachable by funicular or cable car (on foot it is considered an excursion of trekking real).

About 50 kilometers from Bogota you can visit the mines and especially the salt cathedral of Zipaquerà, the salt mines represented one of the sources of wealth of the Muisca, the indigenous people of the Bogota plateau and, even today, despite the sector being in crisis, they are a source of employment in the area. The mining town of Zipaquerà retains some traces of its colonial past. It was named after its foundation, in 1606, in honor of zipà, the head of the Muisca. The "city of salt" is also called the capital of the sweet for its famous confectionery production. To visit the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and Saint Anthony of Padua, on the north side of the Plaza de los Comuneros, in the historic city center. It is better known as the Diocesan Cathedral of Zipaquirá, to distinguish it from the Salt Cathedral, which is located in the same municipal area, although it is actually a tourist site and not an episcopal see.

The building, built on the ruins of the previous one, destroyed by the earthquake in New Granada in 1785, was designed by Fra Domingo de Petrés and its construction began in 1805 but it took 111 years to complete: it was in fact inaugurated. and consecrated on November 19, 1916 by the archbishop of Bogotá, Bernardo Herrera Restrepo. The historic center of Zipaquirá (including the cathedral), was declared a National Monument of Colombia on March 12, 1982. But the real attraction of Zipaquira is the Salt Cathedral, an extraordinary architectural masterpiece one of a kind created inside a disused mine of salt. All the structural elements of the building, as well as the objects found inside, are made of alite, a salt rock.

Zipaquira, Diocesan Cathedral of Zipaquirá

The salt cathedral, which covers an area of ​​approximately 8,500 square meters, is built underground, 180 meters deep, and is capable of accommodating 10,000 people. 250,000 tons of raw salt have been removed to create this incredible underground church which houses dozens of hand-carved sculptures, as well as a labyrinth of rooms with very high ceilings. To make the gem of salt shine, blue and white lights that make the scenography even more suggestive and magical. The story of this incredible underground church begins in the 1930s, when miners dug a makeshift chapel in one of the mine's tunnels to pray for their safety while doing the dangerous work. Today everything is safe: the Colombian government has invested a million dollars in it and the structure still hosts, in addition to the faithful, tens of thousands of onlookers from all over the world. Inside the cathedral, the temperature settles around 14 degrees all year round and an installation called Specchi d’acqua is also contributing to the humidity, consisting of shallow pools of salt water. At its entrance, on the surface, there is a museum where visitors can learn about the geology and the salt extraction process. The salt cathedral is accessed through a tunnel where the fourteen stations of the Via Crucis are located. The path leads first to the dome and then to the three naves of the cathedral, which represent the birth and death of Christ. In the central nave there is the main altar, a gigantic cross of 16 meters in height and the creación del hombre, a refined marble work.

We leave Zipaquerà and its mines to visit the town of Chiquinquerà. In its immense neoclassical basilica is preserved the picture of the Virgin, proclaimed patroness of Colombia. There our senora de Chiquinquira it has been venerated for centuries since Christmas 1586, the day when its deteriorated image suddenly took on color. Since then it is said that Our Lady began to work miracles in Chiquinquerà, which in language chibcha it means "place of mists and swamps". The sacred painting was placed on the high altar. In Chiquinquerà the only interesting thing to see are the churches, like the Iglesia de la Renovacion or de Santa Barbara, where copies of the miraculous painting are exhibited. In addition to postcards, posters and various souvenir of the local Madonna, in the town you can buy excellent and cheap stringed musical instruments, made by the artisans of the region.

The next stop is the beautiful one Villa de Leyva. Here time seems to have almost stopped. Founded in 1572 by the Spanish Herman Suarez de Villalobos, in the district of Boyacà, about 160 kilometers away from the capital Bogotà, the small town with its cobbled streets and large square retains a timeless charm that deserves to be experienced at least for a couple of days. The architecture of Villa de Leya is typical colonial with small white houses, flowered balconies and the maze of alleys that make up the historic center.

The town is also famous for its restaurants and bars where you can spend the evening tasting the typical dishes of Colombian cuisine or have a coffee and eat a piece of cake. There plaza mayor it is both impressive (one of the largest in Colombia with its 14 thousand square meters) and simple, with immaculate houses, a fountain in the center and a stone floor that requires comfortable shoes. The cathedral is overlooked by a neo-baroque style building that contains the bust of the founder of the town and some paintings by the painter Vasquesz y Arce Ceballos. On the square there is also the museum of the master sculptor Acuna, a painter of murals, some of which were made with the best Mexican muralists. The museum also exhibits objects of different types and periods, collected by Acuna from around the world. Behind the cathedral is the real fabrica de licores, ancient distillery of aguardiente with a heraldic shield at the entrance. There is 5 kilometers from Villa de Leyva El fosil, an impressive skeleton of a kronosaurus cub, a species of crocodile that lived about 120 million years ago. The extraordinary discovery was made by a farmer who hit it with his plow. The 8-meter-long kronosaurus of the original 12 (it lacks a leg and a piece of tail), caused a lively dispute between the government of Bogota, which wanted to transport it to a museum in the capital, and the people of the area, who saw it. as a profit opportunity. Leaving Villa de Leyva, we make a short visit to Ràquira, probably the prettiest village in the department, with houses painted in white, red and blue.

Courtyard of the Ecce Homo convent

Raquerà lives up to its name, the city of pots, given that various clay and ceramic vessels and vessels are produced, near Raquerà, in an area so arid that it is called the Desierto de la Candelaria, there is a monastery built in 1597 by the Augustinian fathers.

Also in the surroundings of Villa de Leyva, just over 8 kilometers away, it is possible to visit the famous convent Ecce Homo, a place of peace and tranquility, surrounded by an oasis of nature. A religious complex commissioned by a community of Dominicans in 1600. It is a Moorish-style building with an altar and a patio of considerable interest.

A long journey then leads us to Mompox, the Macondo of Màrquez. The name Mompox derives from Mompoj, the last leader of the Kimbay indigenous people who populated the region before the Spanish conquest. With the Spaniards, the town became an important commercial center and an active river port from which all the goods arriving from Cartagena passed towards the hinterland of the colony. Over the centuries Mompox continued to thrive and numerous churches and luxurious residences were built here.

Mompox, church of Santa Barbara

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, navigation along the Rio Magdalena was diverted to the other arm of the river, marking the decline of the city, which remained isolated and began to live with memories. Little has changed since then. Mompox has retained its distinct colonial appearance (it is one of the best preserved colonial cities) and the atmosphere of bygone times. The city has several extraordinary similarities with the imaginary city of Macondo described by Gabriel Garcìa Màrquez in his famous novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude". In 1995 it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
Our trip to Colombia is about to reach its climax, the wonderful one Cartagena de Indias, pearl of the South American country, one of the liveliest and most beautiful Caribbean towns. Located on the north coast of Colombia, Cartagena enjoys a favorable geographical position, in a bay surrounded by islands and lagoons and boasts a rich history as the main port of the continent during the Spanish colonial period. The historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984, is a labyrinth of cobbled alleys, dominated by large balconies wrapped in bougainvilleas and marvelous monumental churches.

A fascinating cradle of romantic events and legends preserved within an impotent circle of stone walls dating back to the colonial period. Founded in 1533, it was one of the first Spanish cities in the New World, the main port from which the riches of the continent sailed for the motherland. Unsurprisingly, the city was an appetizing target for English pirates who sailed the Caribbean Sea and that it underwent several terrible sieges in the 16th century. Sir Francis Drake captained the most famous attack in 1586, putting the cathedral to fire and sword and holding the city hostage for more than a hundred days. After the pirate retired, the Spaniards began building an elaborate network of fortifications that are the town's main feature today. It is about 11 kilometers of heavy stone ramparts, which surround the historic center. Here also stands the most imposing fort on the American continent, built between 1536 and 1657, the Castillo de San Felipe. From Cartagena we take a pleasant boat trip that takes us to La Boquilla, a coastal village 7 kilometers north of the city inhabited almost exclusively by fishermen.

In addition to some good beaches, the village is characterized by ciénga de la virgen, a lagoon full of rozofere, semi-submerged plants that at sunset are populated by hundreds of herons.

Before leaving Colombia we spend a few relaxing days by the sea in the Rosario Islands (an archipelago of 25 islets), reachable by fast boat from Cartagena with a crossing that lasts about an hour and a half. Here we await small white beaches and a blue and transparent sea, protected by a thick coral reef.


Colombian cuisine offers many specialties in fact, depending on the region, you can try various dishes. In the coastal areas and on the islands, fish is of course the master, often cooked roasted together with crustaceans (excellent lobsters and squid) and seafood, while in the inland areas the diet is mainly based on pork and pork dishes. beef, often roasted or stewed with beans, rice and potatoes.

Rosario Islands, shark meal

Among the drinks, in addition to non-alcoholic ones, the use of national beer, generally light, of ron and ofaguardiente. But the real pride of Colombia is represented by the coffee, which imported into these lands by Europeans in the eighteenth century and found here a favorable environment to reproduce and, thanks also to processing techniques that have evolved over time, is now considered one of the best. in the world.

A must-try dish on a trip to Colombia is La cazuela de mariscos, a single dish typical of the culinary tradition of the Colombian Caribbean coast, prepared especially in the capitals of Cartagena de Indias, Barranquilla and Santa Marta. For the preparation of the cazuela de mariscos many seafood are used (such as prawns, shrimps, prawns, squid and clams), fine fish from the area (such as pargo rojo, mero and jurel) and a vegetable sauté (made regularly with carrots, onions, peppers, tomatoes, herbs herbs and spices).

The history of the Valley of the Orchids

The idea and name of the Valley of Orchids was born in the early 90s, with the aim of affirming and communicating the research, studies and professional experiences of prof. Nicola Di Novella, pharmacist, naturalist and geobotanist, carried out on nature in the broad sense of the territories south of the province of Salerno and in particular of the Vallo di Diano and the Massif of Monte Cervati.

The initiative acquired greater development when the Botanical Garden of Naples, the Department of Plant Biology of the Federico II University of Naples, in the person of prof. Paolo De Luca, and the Department of Economic Sciences of the University of Salerno, in the person of prof. Pasquale Persico, were interested in such research.

The project tended to stimulate interest in the municipal administrators of Sassano and the local authorities of the internal areas, so-called "marginal", also for the creation of new opportunities for youth work and development activities.

With great enthusiasm the Municipality of Sassano, in the person of the Mayor Gaetano Arenare, and the National Park of Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni, in the person of prof. Vincenzo La Valva, to propose this beautiful naturalistic singularity of southern Italy to the scientific world and to the Italian and foreign tourism sector.

The institutional aims towards which Nicola Di Novella and his sons Riccardo, doctor of forestry and environmental sciences, and Diego, pharmacist, are part of many thematic areas. The study, dissemination, enhancement and promotion of the environmental and historical heritage of these places passes through the enhancement of naturalistic and food and wine tourism, the management and collaboration of various museums in the area, cultural promotion through organization and participation in exhibitions themes, events, conferences and workshops across national borders

History of orchids

Here various wild orchid entities flourish, including species, subspecies, varieties and hybrids.

The excursions

Organize your excursion in the Valley of the Orchids in the period you prefer.


An action research methodology specially designed for students of all ages.


The Valley of the Orchids is one of the most interesting nature trails in the Campania Region, the flagship of the Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni National Park, a must for those interested in nature.

Among grasslands, pastures, prairies, grassy slopes and woods, 184 wild orchid entities flourish, including species, subspecies, varieties and hybrids.

Throughout the year, guided tours, events, conferences, gastronomic events welcome schools, visitors, enthusiasts, scholars, lovers of the subject and all those who choose nature as the first subject for "the quality of life“.


The best time to visit the Valley of Orchids is from April to May, when the blooms are numerous. In fact, the Vallo di Diano / Cilento section of the GIROS (Italian Group for Research on Spontaneous Orchids) has planned four excursions: the April 17 at 10:00, the May 4th at 15:00, on May 5th at 10:00, the May 12 at 10:00.

Flowers: the magic of orchids

Each flower symbolizes something in particular. The choice to give them must therefore always be thought with a lot of attention. After all, there are some flowers that are famous for their beauty and elegance. One of these is the orchid. The orchid has a very special charm and is precious because it symbolizes refinement, beauty, elegance and harmony. It is also a symbol of love, passion, sensuality. In the language of flowers it is the emblem of a thanksgiving for the loving concession. Those who choose to give an orchid as a gift know they are dealing with a flower that is precious in various respects. For example, if you ask for the price and quality of the white orchid, you will find different types of offers. Very often this flower is also combined with red roses.

The history of orchids

We often talk about the beauty of orchids as it is a flower that has a long history and a deep meaning. In the East and in China it symbolizes the purity of children, while in the West it is a flower symbol of a message of love. The orchid should only be given to the most important people in the world. A woman means being able to give her a message of total admiration. After all, those who give an orchid give their dedication. For centuries it has been an aphrodisiac flower, used to prepare love potions. Another thing that this flower hides is luxury and also a lot of sensuality. After all, it has also always been considered the best aphrodisiac used as a cure. The orchid, however, is often given as a gift on the fourteenth wedding anniversary and above all, when we talk about the pink and cream one, as well as the pastel yellow one. In fact, precisely because it represents a thank you for love in various forms, it is often used as a flower symbol of anniversaries. For Mother's Day instead, a bouquet of different orchids is given away: those of the cattleya style because they are more similar to the party and underline the charm of advancing age.

Deep meanings of the orchid

Among the deep meanings of the orchid, there is also the Christian one. In fact, in the beliefs of this religion, the spots found on the flowers symbolize the presence of the blood of Christ. This is why these flowers are very often found in church at Christmas and Easter. Ci sono anche le orchidee nere, ovvero quelle marrone scuro, che hanno un simbologia particolare. Mitologicamente si pensava che fossero magiche, perché sono simbolo di autorità. Molto spesso vanno regalate agli uomini per complimentarsi di un successo lavorativo. I fiori di orchidea sono da scegliere sempre in occasioni belle, come eventi, matrimoni e non solo. Da sempre simbolo di buon augurio, sono i fiori più particolari e fascinosi di tutti i tempi. Ci sono diverse tipologie e specie di orchidee tra cui scegliere. Hanno forma e colore diverse che le rendono più o meno particolari. In generale però tutte queste orchidee sono sempre affini da un punto di vista del significato e rappresentano sempre una bellezza dei fiori inaudita, amata sia dalle donne che dagli uomini. La scelta di questo tipo di dono floreale è quasi sempre azzeccata.

Webinar guido 2

Note generali sulla revisione tassonomica della Sottotribù Pleurothallidinae
La sottotribù Pleurothallidinae, nonostante sia stata scientificamente trascurata per lungo tempo, diventando di fatto il ricettacolo di tutto quanto non si sapeva o voleva inserire in altri generi, è oggi uno dei gruppi di orchidee scientificamente più conosciuti.
La base morfologica della riorganizzazione tassonomica delle Pleurothallidinae nasce con Luer nel suo lavoro “Icones Pleurothallidinarum”

Le Pleurothallidinae sono una sottotribù neotropicale di piante della famiglia delle orchidee che comprende 29 generi in più di 4000 specie che rappresentano il 16% delle orchidacee. Le specie di questa sottotribù sono tra le orchidee più popolari nelle collezioni, in particolare i generi Dracula, Dryadella, Masdevallia e Restrepia distribuite dalla Florida all’Argentina, Brasile e nelle Piccole Antille, Colombia, Ecuador, Perù e Bolivia.

Il genere Restrepia

La prima specie del genere è stata scoperta da Ruiz e Pavon, nel 1779, a nord del Perù ed è stata descritta nel 1798 con il nome di Humboldtia contorta

Il genere è stato descritto e pubblicato in: Nova Genera et Species Plantarum Vol: 1, pag: 366, Tav:94, (1816) da Humboldt, Bompland e Kunth. La pianta campione in analisi per la descrizione (raccolta in Colombia) è stata nominata Restrepia antennifera ed è la specie tipo del genere. Il nome Restrepia è stato dato da Karl Sigismund Kunth in onore di José M. Restrepo.

L’epiteto di specie “antennifera” è spesso usato anche per altre specie, quasi a considerarle sue varietà. Questo aspetto contribuisce a creare disorientamento e difficoltà nell’esatta individuazione tassonomica.

Restrepia elegans Restrepia cuprea. Restrepia metae. Restrepia dodsoni. Restrepia echo. Restrepia jesupiana. Restrepia mendozae Restrepia muscifera. Restrepia sanguinea. Restrepia guttulata

The Genere Dracula
Già il nome stesso del genere, crea un certo disagio, conosciamo bene le strane doti del Conte Dracula della letteratura…. dal libro “Dracula” di Bram Stoker (1897).

Dracula vlad tepes.

Le orchidee chiamate Dracula
Il genere Dracula appartiene alla sottotribù delle Pleurothallidinae ed è stato generato nel 1978 dal Dott Carlyl Luer, scorporando dal genere Masdevallia alcune specie con fiori pelosi, strani labelli e sepali con code lunghissime. Forse è stato proprio quest’ultimo particolare oltre alla somiglianza dei fiori a “piccoli draghi” e non da ultimo all’ambiente umido e buio dove amano vivere, ad ispirare il nome “Dracula” a Luer

Dracula bella.

Si è già evidenziato che le condizioni ambientali molto importanti sono l’alta umidità costante, ombra abbondante, ventilazione e temperature da moderate a fredde, il tutto accompagnato da costante ventilazione.

A quanto illustrato sopra va aggiunto che gran parte delle specie del genere Dracula producono steli fiorali con il geotropismo negativo e quindi bisogna contenere le radici di queste piante in cestini forati per permettere l’uscita degli steli stessi.
Nonostante tutto, se desidri cimentarti con queste bellissime e delicatissime orchidee, quel che segue può darti una mano.

Dracula bergeri. Dracula lotax Dracula andrettae. Dracula lotax

Rinvaso: tipologia del substrato e tecniche costruttive dei cestelli in filo zincato.

Anche per il substrato di queste orchidee vale il principio della facilità del suo reperimento e del costo contenuto.
Dopo molti esperimenti con materiali di varia natura (fibra d’osmunda, bark, polistirolo ed altro) utilizzati negli anni precedenti per il rinvaso, ultimamante uso una miscela di bark fine, torba si sfagno ed agriperlite, che garantisce vaporosità, umidità alle radici e buona resistenza alla decomposizione, Inoltre per mantenere umida la sua superfice, copro la parte superiore del substrato con sfagno secco reidratato.

Nelle foto sotto si può notare una pianta di Dracula, prima e dopo il rinvaso.

La pianta prima del rinvaso (foto a sinistra) presenta chiari sintomi di soffocamento del composto, in parte ammuffito e decomposto. A destra nella foto si vede la pianta rinvasata e pulita.

Pianta tolta dal cestello (foto sotto) e preparativi per la risistemazione.

Sopra si può notare lo stato generale di crisi del substrato e delle radici della pianta, mentre a destra si vedono pianta e cestello puliti, con li substrato pronto per il rinvaso.

Come costruire i cestelli in rete zincata.

Per costruire questi cestelli si usa rete zincata finissima (mezzo centimetro di lato dei quadratini), reperibile nelle comuni ferrameta o negozi di edilizia e si tagliano i segmenti di misura desiderata (è sufficente fare qualche calcolo teorico), io costruisco cestelli di tre misure (8-10 12 centimetri di diametro e 10 di altezza).

Modellare manualmente.

Una volta tagliata e rifilata per bene la porzione di retina da utilizzare si inzia a modellarla a forma di cilindro e poi si chiudono i due lati, legandoli con un filo di plastica sottile (fili dei cavi telefonici). Per consentire la piegatura del fondo si praticano dei tagli orizzontali ogni 2 quadratini di rete.

Ultime finiture.

Effettuati i tagli, piega le sezioni di retina ricavate verso il centro del cestello e lega con lo stesso filo di prima, l’ammasso di rete ottenuto. Un’ultima sistematina estetica generale, battendo con il manico del martello sul fondo per pressare la retina e poi si può ammirare l’opera. Il cestello a questo punto è pronto per l’uso, lega 3 fili di plastica al bordo superiore del cestello, annodali ad un pezzo di ferro che funge da gancio e procedi con il rinvaso: buona coltivazione.

Il Genere Masdevallia

Masdevallia ibrida Masdevallia vitchiana Masdevallia andreettana. Masdevallia impostor Masdevallia stennorhynchos

Il Genere Pleurothallis

Pleurothallis è un genere di grandi dimensioni a partire dal 2020, Kew’s Plants of the World Online elencava circa 540 specie del genere. Molte specie precedentemente classificate nel genere Pleurothallis sono state trasferite ad altri generi.

Pleurothallis pluriracemosa. Pleurothallis gelida Pleurothallis sertularioides. Pleurothallis tribularioides. Pleurothallis phalangifera. Pleurothallis sonderana. Pleurothallis_ocreata Pleurothallis jonsonii. Pleurothallis rowleii. Pleurothallis bvali. Pleurothallis hemirhoda. Pleurothallis striolata.

Pleurothallis titan. Acianthera_aphthosa. Achianthera bidentulata. Acianthera saracenia.

Acianthera violacea. Mioxanthus exasperatus. Pleurothallis phalangifera Octomeria ghertii. Octomeria alpina. Octomeria greandiflora Pleurothallis phalangifera

Video: Ορχιδέα με σήψη λαιμού.