Photo Credit: Santa Barbara Orchid Estate
|| Partial shade
||In summer, water freely amd mist once or twice daily.
||Water regularly and keep mix moist but not wet. Plant require semi-dry rest through the winter months
||Small flowers, can bloom periodically all year long
Bright yellow variety of this small flowered orchid with a deep red mark on the lip. Intermediate growing. Winter blooming. Species from Central America.
Click photos for larger image. Photo right, plant and flowers in situ Panama by © Wilfried Löderbusch.
Common Name The Variable Maxillaria
Flower Size to about 3/4" [1 to 1.5 cm]
Found from Mexico Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador as a small sized, hot to cool growing terrestrial, lithophytic or epiphytic, solitary leafed species is found on or below trees in open or dense humid forests at elevations of 500 to 2500 meters with simple or branched rhizomes carrying subclustered, ovoid to ellipsoid pseudobulb subtended by several sheaths and carrying a single, apical, linear or linear-oblong, subcoriaceous, grass-green acute to obtuse leaf that blooms throughout the year with several scarious sheaths that carry the slender, to 2" [to 5 cm] long, single flowered inflorescence enveloped by several, thin, scarious, transluscent, lanceolate, acuminate bracts with variable colored, long-lasting flowers.
M curtipes is often given as a synonym of this species and it is most likely correct but I have kept them separate at this time. M variabilis differs from the similar M caespitifica but it is a smaller plant with smaller green flowers, M costaricensis has green to cream colored flowers stained with red and comes from much wetter areas
Synonyms Maxillaria angustifolia Hooker 1841; Maxillaria chiriquensis Schlechter 1922; Maxillaria henchmanni Hooker 1837; Maxillaria lyoni Lindley 1845; Maxillaria panamensis Schltr. 1922; Maxillaria revoluta Kl. 1852; Maxillaria variabilis var. unipunctata Lindl. 1838; Maxillariella variabilis (Bateman ex Lindl.) M.A. Blanco & Carnevali 2007
|Red Flower Form Photo courtesy of Marius Wasbauer
- W3 Tropicos
- Kew Monocot list
- Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915
- Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915 as M variabilis var unipunctata
- Atlas des Orchidees Cultivees Constantin 1920 drawing hmm
- Die Orchideen der Sudamerikanischen Kordillerenstaaten II Colombia Schlechter 1920 as M angustifolia
- Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 17: 68. Panama Schlechter 1922 as M chiriquiensis
- Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 17: 70. Panama Schlechter 1922 as M panamensis
- Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 19: 141. Costa Rica Schlechter 1923
- The Orchids of Panama L.O. Williams & P Allen 1946
- AOS Bulletin Vol 27 No 1 1958 photo
- AOS Bulletin Vol 27 No 6 1958
- Native Orchids of Trinidad Schultes 1960
- Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965
- Flora de Venezuela Foldats Volumen XV Part 4 1970
- Las Orquedias De El Salvador Vol 2 Hamer 1974 drawing/photo fide
- Orquideologia Vol 12 No 1 1977; AOS Bulletin Vol 48 No 5 1979
- Las Orquedias de El Salvador Vol 3 Hamer 1981 drawing ok
- Icones Planetarum Tropicarum plate 870 Dodson 1983 drawing fide
- AOS Bulletin Vol 54 No 1 1985 photo
- Flora Novo-Galaciana Vol 16 McVaugh 1985
- Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 1342 Atwood 1989 as M curtipes drawing fide
- Die Orchideen lieferung 28 Schlechter/Brieger 1993 as M curtipes
- Die Orchideen lieferung 28 Schlechter/Brieger 1993 photo good
- Fieldiana Biology, Flora Costa Ricensis Family # 39 Orchidaceae, subtribes Maxillariinae and Oncidiinae Atwood & Mora 1999
- AOS Bulletin Vol 78 No 2 2009 photo
- Orchids of Costa Rica Vol 4 Morales 2009 as Maxillariella variabilis photo fide
- Mille et Une Mini Orchideees Roguenant 2009 photo fide
The above is from Jay Pfahl's Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia and can be found at this link .
From Orchids Wiki
|Species: Max. variabilis
|Bateman ex Lindl. 1837
Maxillaria variabilis is a species in the Maxillaria genus.
Plant blooms any time of the year with a single 1.5 cm flower. Color variations from yellow to red.
Plant is found in open and dense forest of Mexico Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador at elevations of 500 to 2500 meters
Plant can be grown in a fine bark medium, full sphagnum moss, or mounted on treefern or cork. Grow in cool to warm conditions with medium amounts of light. Water regularly and keep mix moist but not wet. Plant require semi-dry rest through the winter month.
|| Maxillaria variabilis variant
||Flower has red petals and sepals, and a red lip
|| Maxillaria variabilis variant
||Flower has yellow petals and sepals, and a yellow lip
|| Maxillaria variabilis 'Black Eyed Susan'
||Flower has black petals and sepals, and a black lip
Common Name: The Variable Maxillaria
- Maxillaria angustifolia Hooker 1841
- Maxillaria chiriquensis Schlechter 1922
- Maxillaria henchmanni Hooker 1837
- Maxillaria lyoni Lindley 1845
- Maxillaria panamensis Schltr. 1922; Maxillaria revoluta Kl. 1852
The Encyclopedia of House Plants
The genus Maxillaria is represented by over 900 different species. They are spread throughout the new worrld ranging from northern Argentina through the West Indies and Central America up to Florida. Maxillaria plants are epiphytes, lithophytes or sometimes even terrestial. The vegetative plant forms are variable and can be subdivided into psuedobulbless and pseudobulbous plants. Pseudobulbs, always of a single internode, have 1-4 apical leaves, each with a prominent central vein. The influorescences are produced singly or in groups from either the axils of the rhizome sheaths, or from the base of the pseudobulbs. Each influorescence displays a single flower. Sepals and petals are subequal and free. Petals are similar to the sepals but smaller. The lip articulate simple or more or less 3-lobes. Lateral lobes, when present, are erect. The column is fleshy and also erect. There are always four waxy pollinia present.
Cool- or intermediate growing orchids. Grow in epiphytic orchid potting mix in pots or slatted baskets, or epiphytically in slabs of bark. In summer, grow in moist partial shade. Admit full light in winter.
Watering and misting
Keep moist all year round. In summer, water freely amd mist once or twice daily.
Divide when plants fill the containers and flow over the sides.
Epiphytic orchid with conical pseudobulbsand one narrowly oblong leaf, up to 12in (30 cm) long. Fragrant, deep yellow to white flowers, spotted purplr, dark red, or brown, up to 1.5in (4 cm) across, are borne on scapes 6in (15 cm) long, from spring to summer. Min. temperature 50F (10C), max. 86F (30C).
Red coconut-cream pie scented orchid from the Philippines. Flowers several times throughout the year.
Maxillaria tenuifolia Lindl.
Red coconut-cream pie scented orchid from Colombia & Ecuador. Flowers several times throughout the year. Vigorous grower and easy to divide. Flowers in April-May.
One of the smaller growing maxillarias. The two color forms, red and yellow, are equally attractive. Grows on the cooler side of intermediate with moderate light.
Read more about the Maxillaria genre and select species by exploring this link.
Maxillaria variabilis hail from Central- to South America where it grows from 500 to 2500 meters. As the name implies it comes in a numer of different variations in shape and color. It is a pretty easy going orchid, thriving in a wide variety of conditions. Since it can be found at such a wide altitude span it is fairly temperature tolerant, and it grows either terrestrial, lithophytic or epiphytic so you can grow it almost any way you like, as long as it is humid. I grow mine in the cool vivarium, slightly drier than my Pleurothallids, low light and high humidity with good air circulation. I have grown it mounted for a long time, but have recently potted it because the creeping growing habit mean that it keep outgrowing the mounts. I have both this lovely yellow variety and the red one already but I would not mind getting my hands on the nearly black variety as well. It blooms on a short single flowered inflorescence throughout the year but primarily in the winter to early spring. Flowers measure about 1.5 cm wide and last for a very long time. It is a very easy to grow species and I have brought it to flower on the windowsill as well.
Maxillariella variabilis (Bateman ex Lindl.) M.A.Blanco & Carnevali, Lankesteriana 7: 530 (2007).
You can read about this and other orchids at the blog called "OrchidKharma", by following this link.
Maxillaria variabilis is a small epiphytic orchid native to the highlands of Central America. As the name suggests, the species has a variable floral color. The pseudobulbs are ellipsoidal to 2.25 inches (5.8 cm) long and are one leaved. Linear leaves will reach up to 10 inches (25 cm) long by about 0.50 inch (1.2 cm) wide. Plants spread by erect rhizomes. As with most members of the Maxillarias, they are of easy culture.
Blooming: Flowers are very inconspicuous to 0.75 inches (1.9 cm) long. This species has highly variable floral colors ranging from white to dark red, often orange–yellow marked with red, but they are not particularly showy.
Culture: Maxillaria variabilis needs a well-drained compost and light to full shade. In the greenhouse, we use compost consisting of equal parts of Osmunda fibre and sphagnum moss with small bark chips added to ensure good drainage. During the growing season, the plants prefer plenty of water and are fertilized weekly with an orchid special fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. If grown in the home environment, they should be misted on a daily basis to keep the humidity levels high around the plants. Like most orchids, they require a rest period, but these orchids need only a short rest. Plants should never be allowed to dry thoroughly during this period because the small pseudobulbs are easily damaged from extended drought conditions.
Propagation: Maxillaria variabilis are propagated from cuttings and from seed. When taking cuttings, the fresh cuts should be dipped in charcoal dust to stop the leaking of milky sap and should be stuck in sand to root.
Genus: Maxillaria Species: variabilis Origin: Mexico
A neat clumping and branching compact plant that becomes pendant with age, 1" bulbs topped with a single 4" to 6" linear leaf, closely spaced along a climbing rhizome, flowers are borne along the sheaths of the new matured growths throughout the year, the highly variable 1" blooms range in colors from dark red to bright yellow, with a lip that ranges from bright yellow to purple/black.
||Variable Blooming Season
||Bright; 2500-3500 Footcandles (very bright indirect light)
||Warm,Intermediate to Cool;45°F min. to 98°F max.(tolerant of extremes,favoring warm)
||Moist; 3-5 waterings per week (let dry lightly between waterings)
You can visit Andy's Orchids and explore this and other orchids by following this link.
If you appreciate the Maxillaria variabilis var. yellow, then the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate recommends the following orchids as well. Orchids noted with a asteric * are included in the NVOS web site, all other links will open a new browser window to the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate page.