Spotlight: Sobennikoffia humbertiana
Relatively rare. Found in Madagascar at 400 - 1200 meters, in fact, all Sobennikoffia are endemic to Madagascar. Growing among rocks in seasonally dry evergreen forests, they get a very long dry season and at maturity these may need a winter dormant period. Morning dew is the main source of water for some of the year. Flowering occurs in April and May, blooms last moderately well, in it's native it flowers in October and November. Flowers similar to humbertiana robusta.
This intermediate to warm growing epiphyte or semilithophytic vandanaceous orchid has husky, basal roots with carrying many leathery, longlasting strap shaped leaves with wavy margins that blooms in the spring in the Northern Hemisphere on a 12" to 16" long, arching inflorescence with spicy, pleasingly fragrant flowers that turn apricot color with age.
Grow in conditions similar to Cattleya.
Temperature: intermediate to warm growing conditions. 75F - 85F daytime temps. Cooler night temps.
Light: moderate light, dappled shade. Similar to Cattleya.
Media & Container notes:
Can grow in teak baskets or mounted on cork with some sphagnum. Sometimes can come potted but tends to do better with more air. Some suggest she can be loosely potted with lava rock and in a clay pot, for a lot of air circulation if mounting or basket is not possible.
Water & Mist:
Fragrance: Yes. Fragrance of the flowers is spicy and pleasing.
Drier period is suggested, overwatering in winter can result in root rot. Misting is suggested. Change watering schedule in spring.
Note in this link, a photo of this plant in the wild, if you look at the photo stream you can see how there might be dry periods.
Notes: If you plant comes from a different hemisphere is may take a while for it to adjust. This plant tends to grow slowly.
Endemic: Africa, Madagascar.
W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Flora of Madagascar Perrier 1936/81; Schlechter's Die Orchideen lieferung 16/17/18 Brieger etal 1986; Angraecoid Orchids Stewart, Hermans, Campbell 2006; Orchids of Madagascar Hermans 2007 photo fide; Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar Cribb & Herman 2009 photo fide