Page 3 - Dracula species 2019-2
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Dracula (C.A. Luer)

          Dracula is a genus only to be found in Central and South America. At this moment 135 species
          and natural hybrids are described (end 2016). Nine of them grow in Central America, from
          Mexico to Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. The other species are found in South America,
          75 species in Colombia, 55 in Ecuador and 6 in Peru.

          In general the plants grow at elevations between    In the nineties Draculas were very popular amongs
          1500 and 2300 meters, but some grow at elevati-     enthousiasts in The Netherlands and Sweden. A
          ons below 300 meters and some grow even higher  number of species got their name when they were
          as 2300 meters. All plants grow in the shadow of    named after Swedish or Dutch growers.
          the trees en hardly even get direct sunlight. In    Dracula dalstroemii, lafleurii, lindstroemii. soenne-
          their habitats these plants grow on branches of     markii
          trees which are covered with moss. At these pla-    Dracula antonii, brangerii, sijmii, terborchii.
          ces the roots of the plants always stay moist (not
          wet!) because the humidity also is very high.       In the eighties and nineties a group of Swedish
                                                              enthousiasts, with Stig Dalstroem amongst them,
          In the past 10 years new species have been disco-   collected a large number of plants in Ecuador.
          vered in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama      Plants like Dracula alcithoë, dalessandroi, dalstroe-
          and Peru. But it also happens that plants that are   mii, felix, gigas, hirtzii, iricolor, lafleurii, levii, lind-
          in a collections for several years start flowering,   stroemii, mantissa, marsupualis, mopsus, morleyi,
          and these plants are new to science. This has hap-  radiosa, rezekiana, sibundoyënsis, sodiroi, uban-
          pened f.i. with Dracula brangeri (Luer)1968, which  gina, vampira, woolwardiae. Some of the species
          was named after the grower of this plant, (he’s     were found by them for the first time ever.
          one of the founders of the Werkgroep Masdeval-
          lia), Christiaan Branger.                           In contrast to what most people think, Draculas
                                                              do well in the temperate to temperate-cold green-
          Mr. Branger got the plant from Hubein from Berlin,  house. This means daytime temperatures should
          who collected the plant in 1979. The plant flo-     not go higher than 30C, night time temperatures
          wered for the first time in october 1985, and was   should be around 12 – 15C. These are not the
          officially described in 1986. Only a few of these   temperatures from a cold greenhouse. Also plants
          plants are cultivated in collections.               want to be well protected against direct sunlight
                                                              during summer, but should receive plenty of sun-
          The same thing happened with Dracula terborchii,    light in winter.
          which was collected in the northwest of Ecuador,
          in the Carchi area by the collectors of Jose Portilla.  The Dracula species are best grown in baskets, this
          Since 1996 this plant was cultivated by Herman ter  allowing the flowerspikes to  grow down and leave
          Borch, who flowered it in 1997. In 1998 a flower    the baskets to flower. Hanging baskets are prefe-
          was sent to Dr. C.A. Luer who described the new     red. The plants love a gentle breeze, so make sure
          species. There are two types of this plant in culti-  there’s sufficient ventilation in your greenhouse.
          vation.                                             Also check if you can open the windows to let
                                                              fresh air in.
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