This plant originally comes from Ecuagenera who sell it under the name Diodonopsis pygmaea. However, I am not convinced that this is correct. Although my plant and flower matches the picture on Ecuageneras website, other photos of this species show a rather different looking plant and flower. For one, there is nothing pygmy about this pygmaea… The plant is much larger that I had expected with leaves measuring about 8-10 cm and with a much broader flower measuring about 1.5 cm. My best guess is that this is more likely to be Dryadella albicans. 

Dryadella albicans can be found from Costa Rica down to Ecuador from 400 to 2400 meters. While Diodonopsis pygmaea can be found in Costa Rica, Colombia and Ecuador from 700 to 1600 meters. Dryadella is a Masdevallia breakaway genus with 40 or more species and Diodonopsis is yet another small (only 3 species) genus formerly included in Masdevallia. But at the end of the day pygmaea may or may not even be included here, final DNA analysis will tell. Regardless what it is, it is a pretty temperature tolerant and easy going species that I grow intermediate to cool, wet and very humid. In the greenhouse during the warmer season and in the cool vivarium during winter. I actualy missed the real photo opportunity here, it showed off quite a display of flowers this summer, this is a solitary straggler in round two. Lovely none the less, I’m not complaining!

Dryadella albicans (Luer) Luer 1978.
Diodonopsis pygmaea (Kraenzl.) Pridgeon & M.W. Chase, Lindleyana 16: 253 (2001).