Oncidium noezlianum

 Orchid species have evolved some amazing colours to attract their pollinators and Oncidium noezlianum is one of the most dramatic with the bright scarlet flowers tinged with violet and yellow around the column – attracting hummingbirds.

Oncidium noezlianum was previosly known as Cochlioda noezliana as botanists separated it from other oncidiums because of its different shape and colour but this is simply due to its adaptation for hummingbird pollination (unlike most oncidiums) As well as the bright scarlet colour the flowers have a yellow crest on the lip perfect for guiding the hummingbird's beak, and the petals are swept back to keep them out of the way of the hovering wings.

Oncidium noezlianum is native to the cloud forests of Colombia and has been a major influence on orchid breeding since its discovery. It is the orchid species behind the red in many of the red orchids hybrids sold around the world today in the Oncidineae subtribe.

This species has a reputation as not the easiest to grow, but we find it straight forward if you stick to the cool moist conditions of its cloud forest home (our Cloud Forest Greenhouse) where it is found from 2000-3500m altitude. We find that the species does particularly well in baskets – so damp but very free draining – and baskets also show off the arching flower spikes.