Zootrophion argus

This is one of only about twenty species in the genus and is native to Central and South America. Zootrophions have no pseudobulbs, the stem rising from a short rhizome.

It has the common name of The Thousand Eyed Orchid referring to Argus, a Greek mythological monster reputed to have 1000 eyes. I can only imagine that this could be because of the heavy, dense spotting on the flower.

This particular, fairly recently acquired, plant is actually a division of one which has been awarded both a Botanical Certificate and a Certificate of Cultural Commendation by the RHS Orchid Committee. It is grown cool

i.e. minimum 50F overnight and, ideally, 60F daytime though this is extremely difficult to maintain in summer. It is grown with Masdevallias and Pleurothallids in a shady, humid position and is watered all year round, less so through winter during which no fertiliser is applied. Brian Woodward