Stelis gelida

Stelis gelida is also known as the ‘Frosted Pleurothallis,’ and is widely distributed throughout the Southeastern hemisphere.  It also occurs in Cuba and Florida but is considered endangered in Florida, only occurring in the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. According to the North American Orchid Center this species can be found in large colonies of oak, pop ash, pond apple, and maple in cypress sloughs.

The flower smells wonderful and is even strongly odorous through an enclosed glass tank.  The blooms are rather short-lived, about two weeks if I remember right, but they are plentiful.  As an expert killer of orchids, this is one that seems to be well suited to a variety of conditions.  Preceding and during the time it was in flower, it was planted in a terra cotta pot which sat in about 1/3 inch of water at all times.  It didn’t seem to mind the soggy conditions, but now that I’ve drained the tank, it doesn’t seem to mind those conditions either and continues to grow.  New leaves look almost waxy, they are so shiny.