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).