Maxillaria picta is a sympodial epiphyte orchid species, native to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. This is one of the easiest Maxillaria species to keep and bloom in a home and the flowers make it even more appealing. This orchid has recently been reclassified as Brasiliorchis, but both names are accepted.
Blooms are about 3-4 cm across and stay close to the pseudobulbs. The petals are a golden yellow color, while the lip is buttery white color with dark red dots. Petals are narrow and elongated, while the lip is thick.
The main attraction of the flower is the spotted pattern on the back of the sepals and petals. The background is a buttery white, while the spotting is dark red. The front of the flower has a solid yellow color apart from the dotted lip and the dark red center. The petals have a tendency to curl forward, making the pattern even more visible.
The blooms are displayed on a 3-6 cm long flower spike, which only produces one flower. The spikes emerge from the base of each mature pseudobulb and can have a red coloration. Each pseudobulb can produce multiple tiny flower spikes and can rebloom in the following seasons as well.
The flowers are fragrant and the scent reminds of Heliotrope flowers, or bitter almonds. It doesn’t have sweet or flowery notes to it, the main trait of it is bitterness, but it might be to some people’s liking. The scent is also quite strong, filling up a small room in bright days. In the night time this orchid doesn’t release any fragrance. Each spike can take up to 3 weeks to bloom and individual flowers can last for 3-4 weeks.
The Maxillaria picta produces rounded pseudobulbs, measuring about 2-3 cm in diameter. On top of each pseudobulb the orchid usually produces 2 leaves.
The leaves are about 15-20 cm in length and about 2-3 cm in width and have a natural medium green coloration. They are not flimsy and appear quite strong. Roots have a natural red coloration, while growing root tips are usually yellow.
Propagation of this orchid can be done through division, each division should have at least 3 fully grown pseudobulbs for a fast growth further on.
Soft spots: rotting of new growths if water gets trapped in between the forming foliage, or if the orchid is not sitting in ventilated locations.
Overall this orchid is an easy orchid to grow as long as the media is not allowed to stay completely dry for long periods of time. It seems to be quite resilient in the unfortunate event of root loss.