The Prosthechea Green Hornet is a sympodial epiphyte orchid hybrid. It was registered in 1995 by H & R and is a cross between the species Prosthechea cochleata and Prosthechea trulla. This orchid is known for its ease of care and rewarding multiple blooms. The fascinating trait of the flowers is that they appear to be upside down, as the lip is pointing up, rather than down, unlike most other orchid species. This orchid can also be found commercially under the genus Encyclia and Epidendrum.
Blooms are about 3-4 cm in diameter. The petals and sepals have a pale green yellow color and grow downwards. The lip is on the upper part of the flower and has brown purple stripes on a pale green background. The upper half of the lip can sometimes be solid yellow. There is some variation depending on individuals, but all flowers usually appear to point upwards, thus this orchid has resupinate flowers.
The flowers also have a fragrance, but there is some debate regarding this trait. It appears that not all individuals poses a fragrance, as well as not all smell the same. Regarding description of this fragrance, some suggest it is spicy or floral, while others suggest it is pretty undesirable. The author of this article can only describe the fragrance of the individual shown in the pictures as reminding of a horse stable. Not particularly delightful.
The fragrance is more powerful in the first part of the day, fading in the afternoon and completely gone in the night time. The intensity is moderate, it can be sensed in the vicinity of the plant. If one intends to buy this orchid mainly for its fragrance, this can prove to be disappointing.
Blooms are displayed on a flower spike which can measure anywhere between 15 and 30 cm in height. Each spike is produced on top of a pseudobulb and can hold multiple flowers. The spike starts to grow when a new pseudobulb is mature and the orchid only produces one flower spike per pseudobulb which arises from a small sheath. The flower spike can produce blooms sequentially, so blooming time can extend to several months. For this reason cutting of the spike is preferable only when it becomes dry.
The flower spike is quite thin, fragile and flexible, staking is, in some cases, necessary to protect it from being damaged. Flowers last for about 2-3 months. This orchid can bloom throughout the year and each inflorescence can extend to several months due to its sequential blooming pattern.
The Prosthechea Green Hornet is a sympodial orchid that produces egg shaped pseudobulbs, measuring about 3 cm in width and 4-5 cm in height. It is usually confused with one of its parents, the Prosthechea cochleata, but the Green Hornet appears to have shorter petals and sepals that don’t have a curling tendency.
On top of each mature pseudobulb there are 2 to 3 leaves, measuring about 3 cm in width and 20 cm in length, reminding of Cattleya orchid leaves. The leaves are quite thin and fragile and the normal color is bright green.
After blooms fade, this orchid usually starts to produce new growth at the base of the newest pseudobulb. This growth will take about 6-9 months to mature. Normally the orchid will produce one pseudoblub in one year, for each direction of growth. The roots are thin and healthy roots are white. When in active growth they have bright green tips.
The growth pattern of this orchid is pretty linear, so when repotting it is best to place the new growth towards the center of the pot, while the old pseudobuolbs are placed at the edge of the pot. propagation can be done through division, each division should have 3 or more mature pseudobulbs for fast growth.
Soft spots: wrinkly pseudobulbs and accordion shaped leaves if not watered in time, spider mites, root rot if the pot is kept too moist for long periods of time
Overall this orchid is an easy orchid to grow. Its care resembles Oncidium orchids and is quite resilient in the unfortunate event of root loss.
Prosthechea Green Hornet Basic care:
Light: Intermediate to bright
Temperature: Intermediate to warm
Humidity: Tolerant to low humidity, over 40% ideal
Water: As the media approaches dryness
Growth cycle: not deciduous, does not require a winter rest, does not regularly shed leaves, can bloom all year round