Guest Author - Susan Taylor
Rodriguezia lanceolata is a cute little miniature species. It is the type species for the genus Rodriguezia which consists of approximately 30 epiphytic or lithophytic species. The genus is found throughout South America, but most come from the country of Brazil. The genus was named for Manuel Rodriguez a Spanish botanist in 1794.
I fell in love with this one when I saw it at the Houston Orchid Show in April and was lucky enough to find one for sale by Miranda Orchids at the same show. It is a small plant which grows best mounted. The leaves resemble a Tolumnia in that the leaves form a fan shape. The flowers are a bright rosy-pink color and presented on a pendant inflorescence that resembles a tiny flowering vanda. It can flower any time of year, but most often in the spring. One interesting feature of the species is that all the flowers on the inflorescence face upward while the lateral sepals form a spur which hold the flower out from the inflorescence.
Rodriguezia lanceolata is a low elevation species from coastal locations and therefore warm growing. It likes to be kept moist, but with air around the roots. It can be grown either in a slat basket or cork mount with spaghnum moss around the roots. For indoor growing it is possible to grow in extremely well drained mix in a pot, but be sure to provide high humidity and light. Lanceolata requires humidity between 50 and 60 percent and relatively high light. It should have dark green leaves if the light is in the correct rangeŚleaves will turn red if light is too high. Mine is growing with Tolumnias and in shade provided by Cattleyas. Temperature requirements are warm to hot with 80-90 degree days and 65-70 degree nights with little variation summer to winter.
Here's a link to my article on the Miniature Orchid Series which has a listing of recommended vendors: Miniature Orchid Series.