Ionopsis

Oncidium Alliance Species

by Susan Taylor

Originally published in BellaOnline

Posted by Sys Admin over 8 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. Rae Walker asked question Name help in category General Discussion
  2. John Small asked question Schomburgkia, species or hybrid in category General Discussion
  3. Robert H. Findlay asked question Help with ID of this Eria sp. in category General Discussion
  4. Osura Mindula Gunasena asked question Help to Identify the Id of this Vanda in category General Discussion
  5. Maricarmen Ferreira asked question Care for Myl Quest Fanguito in category General Discussion

New Comments

  1. Robert H. Findlay commented on topic "Help with ID of this Eria sp." by Robert H. Findlay
  2. Carol Holdren commented on topic "Name help" by Rae Walker
  3. Carol Holdren commented on member plant Dtps. Younghome Little Spirit by Heather A
  4. Sara D commented on member plant Den. Green Mist by Sara D
  5. Sara D commented on member plant Phal. bellina var. Coerulea by Sara D
  6. Sara D commented on member plant Pot. Marie Yellow Bird var. Love Love by Sara D
  7. John Small commented on topic "Lady Bug or dangerous bug" by John Small
  8. Carol Holdren commented on topic "Help to Identify the Id of this Vanda" by Osura Mindula Gunasena
  9. Carol Holdren commented on topic "Care for Myl Quest Fanguito " by Maricarmen Ferreira
  10. Roberto Lizama commented on topic "Help to idenficate this orchid" by Roberto Lizama
  11. Mark Ashworth commented on topic "Orchid species search" by Mark Ashworth
  12. Debbie Chase commented on topic "Head on Shot to be Identified" by Debbie Chase
  13. Carol Holdren commented on member plant Phal. Liu's Cute Angel by Mo Chen
  14. Mo Chen commented on member plant Holc. flavescens by Mo Chen
  15. Carol Holdren commented on topic "Identify Orchid" by Debbie Chase
  16. Nilda Vega commented on member plant Bct. Roman Holiday 'Hamlyn' by Terence Kew
  17. Clint Dalrymple commented on member plant Pnr. graminifolia by Clint Dalrymple
  18. Carol Holdren commented on member plant Rth. Beau's Golden Touch 'Touch of Class' by Robert Rand
  19. Robert H. Findlay commented on member plant B. nodosa 'Remar x Mas Mejor' by John Small
  20. Carol Holdren commented on member plant Phal. buyssoniana by Robert Oceans