THE GENUS SCHOMBURGKIA

Specific additional cultural information
Philip C. Tomlinson       © 1998

For basic cultural information, refer to the Cattleya Culture page.  Seasonal cultural information  is also included with that data.    The following page details specific cultural pointers for the genus Laelia, and should be read with the basic information presented elsewhere.

Schomburgkia culture

For a discussion of the general cultural requirements for schomlburgkia, refer to the discussion on cattleyas. Those notes indicate the seasonal culture applicable to these plants. The following is intended to supplement those general notes with specific requirements for schomburgkia.

Under the genus Laelia the Section Calolaelia was referred to, which contains the spectacular species superbiens. This is not of the form of the typical laelias, and for this reason is not now considred to be part of that genus, although is included in some writings. It is now generally considered to be in a genus of its own - Schomburbkia. When the gneus lwas origninally established in 1913, the botanist Schlecther set out two sections. The first was the Sction Schomburgkia, contining the species elata, superbiens, lyonsii, splendida, weberbauerana, moyobambae, lludemmannii, crispa, schultzii, undulata and wallisii. The second section Chaunschomburgkia contains tibicinis, brysiana, thompsoniana, caleottiana, exaltata, and wendlandii. It has been suggested that this second group be elevated into a genus of their own, Myrmecophila, although this suggestion does not appear to have been universally accepted by botanists.

The plant now generally grown as Schomburgkia superbiens is a large epiphyte or lithophyte, growing natually in the Mexican highlands through Guatemala to Honduras. It requires intermediate temperatures, and the habitat information for the monsoonal foothill habitat can be usefully referred to. The plants appear to come from the upper reaches of this habitat zone, and the seasonality characxteristic of that habitat should be provided for successful culture. .

The second section Chaunschomburgkia, contailns a number of species. These plants have a reputation for being difficult to grow. They appear to do best when mounted on oak bark covered logs in the h ottest and sunniest part fo the glasshouse. They must be allowed to dry out between waterings, and during the winter in particular msut not be over watered, especially between the period of autumn flowering and when new growth recommenced inthe spring. . They are used to long periods of drought in the Autumn and Winter. It also appears that they should not be disturbed too frequently, as any repotting can cause them a significant set back. The information set out for the arid prairie habitat pages provides useful additional information.

 


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