|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Peristeria (Greek, dove, from the form of the column and wings). Orchidaceae. A group of stately South American pseudobulbous warmhouse orchids.
Leaves large, plicate, unfolding successively: fl.- spikes tall, erect or hanging; fls. nearly globular or cup- shaped, of a waxy texture, with broad concave segms. The genus is distinguished from the related genera Acineta, Lacaena, Gongora, and the like, by the curious shape of the labellum and column. The base of the labellum (hypochil) is united with the column by broad wings (pleuridia). The upper part of the labellum (epichil) is mov-ably joined to the hypochil.—Five species, of which 2 are commonly cult.
The chief factors in growing peristerias are moisture during the growing period, the ideal location being in proximity to water, in a temperature of 65° to 70° F., and a decided rest when growth is completed. The growing medium should consist of two-thirds fibrous sod soil and one-third peat and sand, an addition of dried cow-manure being beneficial. The pots should be well supplied with ' drainage. When the plant is growing freely, water occasionally with organic fertilizer until the growth is completed. Then reduce the water-supply to induce flowering when the young growth appears. An excellent specimen of P. elala in the Missouri Botanical Garden recently produced a flower-spike 3 feet 6 inches high and produced twenty well-formed flowers. From the first appearance of the spike until the last flower opened, covered a period of three and a half months. This noteworthy specimen was grown over a tank of water, in a house of miscellaneous warmhouse plants, and organic manure tvas given freely during growth. The plant was then transferred to the cactus house to rest, enough water was given to prevent shriveling of the pseudobulbs, until the young growth appeared bearing a well-formed flower-spike: it was again transferred to its former position and watered freely to develop the spike. (G. H. Pring.)
P. aspera, Rolfe. Pseudobulbs ovoid-oblong: racemes dense, 8-10 fld.: fls. light brownish yellow, densely spotted with reddish brown, the front lobe of lip brownish crimson ; sepals and petals elliptic-oblong, obtusish. Venezuela. L. 267. — P. Humboldtii, Lindl.-Acineta.. George V.Nash. CH
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963