This amazing creation has been well worth waiting for… I have been watching the scary looking buds swell for weeks now and finally the amazing, fleshy and brutal creations have opened! It is something straight out of an H.R. Giger painting …or perhaps Little Shop of Horrors – and I love it!! I knew what the flowers were supposed to look like when I bought it from Ecuagenera last spring, but it is something else to experience them first hand. The name cerastes is Latin for “a horned snake”, and it is not hard to see the inspiration for the name in these flowers.
Masdevallia cerastes, or Megema cerastes as Luer would have it, is a rare species only found on the southern slopes of the Putumayo region in Colombia. It is cool to cold growing epiphyte found at elevations of 2200-2600 meters on the slopes of the Andes. It is a rather large plant in my collection, the leathery leaves stand 30 cm tall keeping the flowers on a short inflorescences hidden within the leaves. The flowers measure about 2,3 cm wide and the sepals are partially connected forming a rigid cup and the thick petals are rough and twisted. Characteristics found in all species of the Megema genus. All Megema species have been separated from the Masdevallia subspecies Cucullatia with one exception, M. macrura of Masdevallia section Coriaceae.
I grow it potted in a mesh pot with EpiWeb substrate in the cool vivarium, low light and high humidity and temperatures of 18-20 (day) and 10-12 (night).