Masdevallia ayabacana, or Regalia ayabacana according to Luer, is from the impressive section Durae which hold impressive Masdevallia relatives such as princeps for example. The section (or genus if you want) is characterized by large thick leaves and large, fleshy, long-lasting flowers with thick callous petals and most with extremely long sepaline tails. The sepals are also connate, meaning the two lower sepals are fused together. The flowers of Masdevallia ayabacana are customarily fleshy and large, this one measures about 3 cm wide and the long sepaline tails make the flower over 22 cm tall and deeply burgundy to rust red in color with a touch of yellow on the tails. Place that on a 35 cm long inflorescence and you have quite an impressive sight! Each inflorescence usually produce 2-3 long lived flowers in succession, what’s not to love? It is an intermediate to cool growing, medium to large size epiphyte from the cloud forests of Peru where it grows 1200-1800 meters. This particular plant comes from Peruflora via Orchids & More in 2009. A favorite… but I guess I usually say that… I grow it potted in the cool vivarium in high humidity and fairly low light.
Masdevallia ayabacana Luer, Phytologia 39: 189 (1978).