The sympodial genus Gongora (aka Acropera) contains 80 or more species which is distributed from Mexico to Peru and Brazil. The flowers are relatively short-lived, rarely lasting for more than a week. Most species flower from Spring to Summer; the flowers rarely wither on the spike like most orchids, they drop their blooms when they have had enough. The blooms are fairly similar in shape, but the range of colours is significant.

Cultivation : Most gongoras like warm humid conditions with plenty of air circulation. They are best grown in hanging baskets or in pots that are suspended by hangers, due to the long pendulous inflorescences that are a feature of most species. They can be grown in a bark-based mix or in sphagnum moss. These plants enjoy being kept moist and relatively shaded, as direct sunlight will scorch the broad thin leaves. Propagate by division. (ABC Gardening Australia Flora’s Orchids encyclopedia).

  • The most common form of Gongora grown in cooler conditions such as those in the south-eastern region of Victoria, Australia is the Gongora galeata (aka The Helmut Gongora)

According to the Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia (IOSPE) , this is a medium sized, Mexican epiphytic, rarely lithophytic or terrestrial species found in mountain rain and cloud forests with liquambar at altitudes of 600 to 1800 meters that grows warm to cool growing epiphyte with ovoid-pyriform, longitudinally sulcate pseudobulbs with 2 apical, plicate, petiolate, elliptic, acuminate, leaves that blooms in the summer and fall with basal, 6 to 8″ [15 to 20 cm] long, pendant, many flowered, racemose inflorescence arising on mature pseudobulbs and having a short to long-lived, fragrant orange scented flower.

  • It is an evergreen species and requires a semi-dry rest in the winter and is suited for wire basket culture with sphagnum and woodchips.
  • For further information about orchid care at Southern Suburbs Orchid Society (SSOS) or membership inquiries, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

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