Plant of interest: Maxillaria schunkeana
An orchid of rare colour

Maxilliara schunkeana

Max. schunkeana was placed on the species bench and although not usually seen at  meetings is one of interest because of its unusual colour.

It is really dark purple-red but to the eye it looks black which is highly unusual in the very colourful world of orchid flowers.


As it originates  from Brazil in South America it prefers warm to cool conditions, higher humidity and likes to be kept moist but not wet.

Flowers are approximately one centimeter wide and appear from the base of the pseudo bulbs in spring to summer.


A general all purpose fertilizer is satisfactory every couple of weeks throughout the year.


Can be grown successfully in sphagnum moss or a finer bark mix but not over potted bearing in mind they tend to spread out in growth.

General Comments

This fascinating orchid is not difficult to cultivate and get to flower. If you can procure one from a nursery you will have something uniquently different in your collection.