Mexipedium xerophyticum is a rare species from Mexico. Some taxonomists consider it to be a Phragmipedium as they do not like monotypic genera. We refuse to call it a Phrag as there is nothing about its flower form or growth habit that suggests it belongs there. They are found on a small limestone outcrop in Mexico where they have distinct wet and dry seasons. You can learn more about this species at the Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia. Jay’s site is a very useful tool for orchid growers. It is a labor of love and we highly encourage you to subscribe to help support him.
This species is known from a very small population in the wild, and is still relatively rare in the hobby. The plants are often reluctant to set seed and the seed can be challenging in the lab. We think we have ‘cracked the code’ so to speak, and have good quantities in production. One issue is that only a handful of plants were originally collected so we are dealing with a very small gene pool. We have learned that some of our mother plants have better fertility than others, and tend to produce more vigorous seedlings.
Despite its relative rarity this species is easy to grow. It prefers a well drained media, moderate to bright light and warm temperatures. If you are looking for cultural tips check out our blog post for more information. Basically we just grow them along side our multiflorals and Parvis. They don’t seem to be too fussy.
The plants produce new growths on stolons (runners) that can be several inches long. These stolons often creep out of the pot and must be carefully guided back in. If they are not in contact with the potting media they will not root.
The photo shows these larger seedlings as compared to our $35 small seedlings.