Dracula dalstroemii is an epiphytic orchid in the genus Dracula.
Plant blooms successively in the later winter and early spring with a wide pink flower. Distinguishing this species from Dracula gigas is difficult; in all likelihood, Dracuas gigas, dalstromii, hawleyi, and trinympharum are expressions of a single species (or hybridizations with the sympatric Dracula levii). Plants are considered dalstromiis by one key feature: a palpable bump at the point where the dorsal tail joins the dorsal sepal and a more round epichile lip without pinnacled ridges. This bump is easier to feel than to see, and is not present in plants that would be considered "typical" gigases.
However, there are many gigas-type clones in cultivation with striking variety, and study of these will find that some plants with hawleyi characteristics have the bump, and some plants that otherwise resemble dalstromii perfectly do not have the bump.
A note of caution is needed as well that many plants in cultivation labeled as dalstromii are actually very pink verticulosas. This confusion stems from the original species description for dalstromii stating that it is similar to verticulosa, which it most certainly is not. Dalstromiis are not hirsute (extremely short and sparse "fuzz" may be apparent), which is the easiest (but by no means only) way to separate this species from verticulosa.
Plants are found growing in the cloud forest of Ecuador at elevations of 2500 meters
Keep plant in partial shade. Plant can be grown in cold to cool conditions. Pot the plant in fine bark with perlite or sphagnum moss. Water regularly and keep potting media moist.
Common Names: Dalstroem's Dracula
- Hermans, Johan & Clare. Orchid Digest special publication: An Annotation Checklist on the Genus Dracula. Orchid Digest Corp., 1997.