Miltoniopsis/Miltonia

There are nine species of Miltonia predominantly native to Brazil, with populations in Paraguay, Argentina, and eastern Peru, and each produces beautiful, often fragrant, somewhat star-shaped flowers. Miltonias are sympodial orchids that have bright green vegetation, thin foliage, and a conspicuous rhizome that gives them a somewhat rambling habit. Miltonia species are rugged, relatively fast-growing orchids that tend to tolerate a broad range of growing conditions, favoring light shade to bright light and intermediate to warm temperatures. Miltoniopsis species, by contrast, tend to prefer cool to intermediate temperatures, and should not be allowed to dry out. The genus Miltoniopsis consists of 5 species, and their range begins in Costa Rica, extending south through Panama to Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, to Peru. Miltoniopsis are often referred to by the common name, Pansy Orchid because the shape of their very large, rounded, flat flowers, as well as some of their markings, are reminiscent of pansies. Miltoniopsis have thin foliage with a beautiful bluish cast, and closely grouped pseudobulbs that bear several leaves. Miltoniopsis has been the subject of a great deal of hybridisation, with hybrids varying in color from pale pinks and yellows to dark reds, with some marked by intricate, dark, Rorschach-like splotches.