Stelis benzingii

This is a delightful miniature flowered orchid.

Stelis benzingii is a medium sized members of the genus with 12cm leaves and long spikes with densely packed 6mm triangular flowers on what is definitely one of our more floriferous Stelis species. It starts to flower as a small plant and flowers at intervals throughout the year with a main flowering in December.

The species is endemic to Ecuador where it grows in warm lowland forests although we have found that the species does equally well in either our Warm Americas or Cool Americas sections. It does seem to be a shade lover and we have had leaves burn in April sun when not shaded.

In common with many stelis species the flowers of Stelis benzingii have tiny hairs. The hairs are white and confined to the edges of the sepals, giving the red flowers ‘snowy’ tips and a christmassy feel – very appropriate for a  December flowering species.