There is just something special about this mini-Masdevallia… and everytime it blooms I am reminded of its awesomeness. The flowers are not large, but compared to the plant they are rather impressive in size none the less. The plant is no more than 5 cm tall and the width of the flower measures just over 1 cm, but the three long graceful sepals add another 3-4 cm to that – each. The shear white base with rust colored spots and the lime-yellow sepaline tips is a subtile but powerful presentation.
The species is a cool to cold growing epiphyte that hails from the wet cloud forests of Central- to South Tropical Americas, where it grows at elevations of 1 700 to 3 000 meters. I grow mine mounted on an EpiWeb branch, quite bright humid and wet with really good air circulation. It blooms once or twice a year for me, usually in early fall and spring, so it is a little early this year but I do not mind one bit.
Masdevallia picturata Rchb.f., Otia Bot. Hamburg.: 16 (1878). …or Fissia picturata according to Luer.