This is one of my favorite Stelis species. I just adore the deep blood red color and the fine light hairs on the perfectly shaped flowers. Most Stelis have this shape, three symmetrically rounded sepals that form a triangle with the column, small petals and small lip in the center. I grow it rather bright and humid, mounted on EpiWeb in the cool vivarium. It is sharing the mount with several different species of tropical moss and I really love the natural look, almost as if it was growing in-situ.
Stelis (or “leach orchids”) is a large group of orchids with perhaps 500+ species distributed throughout damp mountain forests in tropical North and Central America. The name Stelis comes from the Greek word for ‘mistletoe’ and it is referring to the primarily epiphytic growing habit of the genus. An interesting piece of curiosa is that a Stelis was most likely the first American orchid to ever be brought to Europe, the year was 1591.