Masdevallia (Buccella ) nidifica

Masdevallia nidifica is a small species that is fairly common in Central- to South America where it grows from about 600 meters all the way up to 2 000 meters. This wide altitude range makes for a fairly temperature tolerant Masdevallia and perhaps this is also why there is such a color variance within the species? Mine is fairly dark and nicely saturated compared to some more pale specimens I have seen. This plant comes from Ecuagenera in Ecuador and I think it is just lovely! The leaves are 5 cm long and the body of the flowers measure about 0.5 cm wide and 1.5 cm long with sepals at about 5 cm. Commonly called the Nesting Masdevallia, from the Latin word nidificus meaning “making a nest” and I am guessing that it is referring to the tuft forming habit of the plant. Luer actually wants to move this species to a new genus, Buccella, but alas Kew does not recognise these new structuring ideas as of yet. I really respect Luer and his extensive work, and I think it will probably be recognised eventually, but in the meantime we are just kind of stuck in limbo… waiting. Wonderful species none the less and I just adore Masdevallia… don’t know why, just do. I grow this one intermediate to cool and very humid.

Edit: A friend just told me that apparently this is the South American type, makes sense since it comes from a grower in Ecuador. Thanks Daniel!

Accepted name: Masdevallia nidifica Rchb.f., Otia Bot. Hamburg.: 18 (1878).
Synonyms: Buccella nidifica, Masdevallia cyathogastra, Masdevallia tenuicauda.



By | 2015-08-10T16:51:45+02:00 August 10th, 2015|Categories: My orchids|Tags: , |6 Comments

About the Author:

Karma is a digital nomad graphic artist and writer, orchid nerd and long-distance hiker from Gothenburg, Sweden. Former editor-in-chief for the Swedish Orchid Society magazine, published internationally and held lectures on orchid culture.


  1. André August 10, 2015 at 17:24 - Reply

    A beautiful species indeed! And also a beautiful grown specimen. Do you have ‘m in your cool Orchidarium?
    And Masdevallia is a true marvellous genus. I bought Compendium of miniature orchids a few weeks ago and I am drewling over the beautiful images of this genus (and others). Makes you want more… and more

    • Karma August 10, 2015 at 18:41 - Reply

      Thanks a lot André! 🙂 Yes I grow it in (the new smaller) cool vivarium during the cooler months and in the cloudforest zone in the greenhouse the warmer part of the year. Oh yes, great set of books, the compendium… maybe I will do a writeup on that one day.

  2. André August 10, 2015 at 19:48 - Reply

    Looking forward to that.
    … The cloudforest zone…. Does this mean that in summermonths your entire collection moves from the cold vivarium to your greenhouse? Looks to me as quite an operation.
    Did you use the same technics in your new cool vivarium as in the old one the way you described it in your cool vivarium topic?
    At the moment I keep my little collection outside in the shade. Most of them thrive really well. Have not figured out a cooling system that is simple and not to expensive

    • Karma August 10, 2015 at 20:09 - Reply

      Yes, come May and October every year I pack up ALL the orchids to move them back and forth between the city and summer cottage/greenhouse. It is quite an oeration, but every year I streamline the process a little more. Not too bad really and it is all worth it once done. The cool vivarium is basically the same setup as before, just half the size. I promise to do a full writeup on it when I move back this fall.

      I cool mine by pulling in cool air from the outside in the winter. In the greenhouse I work with shadeing, vents, fans och evaporative cooling mainly.

  3. André August 10, 2015 at 20:44 - Reply

    Karma, thanks you very much for the explanation. I read about your cooling in The winter and will try to do The same coming winter.
    Cooling in the summer is more of a challenge.
    Evaporative cooling by the Hydrofogger??

    • Karma August 10, 2015 at 22:39 - Reply

      Anytime! Good luck! Oh yes, cooling in the summer can be a challenge, but usually nights are cool here… and yes, evaporative cooling by hydrofogger and rain system.

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