Peristeria, Dove Orchid or Holy Spirit Orchid (Flower of Holy Spirit) is another highly famous orchid. Flowers of this stunning orchid resemble a dove, hence comes its common name. This orchid is the National flower of Panama, however, it dwells not only in Panama but in other countries of Central America. The type species, Peristeria elata, has white flowers, famous for its unique column shape, resembling the dove’s head. A flower is fragrant and its central part resembles a dove. It dwells in cloud rainforests of Central America, in high humidity as an epiphyte, growing in moss-grown tree trunks, near the ground level.
Due to its unique form and beauty, these orchids have become really endangered in nature, near extinction. That’s why it is highly recommended not buy this orchid from questionable sources because every cent in a poacher’s purse is a footstep to this beautiful orchid extinction. Peristeria elata is a large-sized, sympodial orchid with large round pseudobulbs. A mature plant could have pseudobulbs in size of a child’s head. It has up to three to five leaves per each pseudobulb, and its inflorescences are basal and up to 135 centimeters long. Her flowers are long-lasting, successively opened, two inches wide.
What’s about Dove orchid care? – it is not very difficult. It is a hot to warm growing orchid, and it prefers bright, filtered light all year round. When new pseudobulb is actively growing, ample watering is demanded, so as balanced fertilizers for this large, fast-growing orchid – it is a heavy feeder. When active growth in length is slowing, you should reduce watering and fertilizers, because overwatering and excessive fertilizers are not very good in this period. Watering then should be at a minimum level, so if its pseudobulbs shiver a little it’s ok. It is also a good idea to slightly reduce a temperature, especially at night to promote flowering. Then, when flower spikes have emerged, you can slightly increase watering, but not too high. Peristerias prefer open, well-drained potting mixture with medium bark, cocoa chips, sphagnum moss and tree fern. So this orchid’s growing is quite simple, it is recommended not overwater it, especially if it is not in an active growth phase, and give it bright light and warmth.
Peristeria pendula is another quite common in culture species of this genus. It’s a smaller orchid, which grows in similar environments in nature.