Odontoglossum is an extremely diverse and marvelous genus of orchids, which deserves special attention. This orchid genus dwells preferably in Northern Andes region at high elevations in cloud mist forests. That’s why most Odontoglossum orchids are either cool or intermediate orchids and they could be epiphytes, lithophytes, and terrestrials because in mountain mist forests the line between these ones is blurred. They are sympodial orchids with more or less round pseudobulbs carrying one to three leaves. They are close relatives of Oncidium, Miltonia, Cambria hybrids, and other Oncidium Alliance orchids and can cross with them and give fertile hybrids.
Most of them are highly prized in orchid growing for their marvelous flowers, Odontoglossum intergeneric hybrids are called colloquially Cambria Orchids. Odontoglossums have bizarre, beautiful flowers of different colors and patterns. Odontoglossum crispum has 3 to 4 inch wide lovely white flowers with big petals with wavy margin and white lip with purple dots, the flowers are fragrant, Odontoglossum gloriosum has fragrant beige petals and sepals with purple markings, Odontoglossum harryanum has 5 inch wide fragrant flowers with orange sepals and petals and white lip with violet markings, Odontoglossum wyattianum has 3 inch wide glossy orange flowers with purple lips, and famous Odontoglossum grande (now Rossioglossum grande) has spectacular, up to 5 inch wide flowers with very exotic look – they are yellow with red markings with wide petals, white lip with purple markings, that’s why it is called Tiger Orchid or Clown Orchid for this jungle look.
Odontoglossum orchids are rather hard to grow – Odontoglossum orchid care has particular difficulties. First – temperature regimen. They are mount orchids and prefer cool to intermediate temperatures, warm room temperatures slowly kill them, orchid weaken and can die because of metabolic and photosynthetic imbalance, plant became highly vulnerable to diseases and slowly die, so it is better to choose some warm temperature orchid, if you could not provide such temperatures, or try Odontoglossum wyattianum or Odontoglossum grande, who are more warm-tolerant. Second, you should use open potting mixture, which has medium bark, some sphagnum, charcoal, and water it carefully because overwatering is deadly to orchids. Light levels should be bright, the same as for Oncidiums.
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