Restrepia, abbreviated Rstp in horticultural trade, is a small genus of 49 orchids in the orchid family (Orchidaceae), closely related to Pleurothallis.
They are found primarily at higher altitudes in the cool, damp montane forests of the Andes and Venezuela, with some into Central America up to southern Mexico.
These tiny epiphytic and rarely lithophytic orchids lack pseudobulbs. The erect, thick, leathery leaf is elliptic-ovate in shape. The aerial roots seem like fine hairs.
The flowers develop one at a time at the base of the leaf. They are borne on a slender peduncle, originating from the base of the back of the leaf. The long dorsal sepal is erect and ends in a somewhat thicker club-shaped tip. They have fused lateral sepals (synsepals) which may be quite colorful : white, yellow, rose, purple, orange or tan with red, brown or purple overlaid frequently with contrasting reddish-purple spots or stripes. The long, lateral petals equally end in a thickened club-shaped tip. The long lip is ovoid and widest its apex. It shows the same variations in color and markings.
They are generally of tufted habit and white sheathed stems with fine papery bracts. Under the right conditions, they can be in flower all year long. They propagate by spreading and forming new plantlets, called keikis, from the base of mature leaves.
Several species, such as Restrepia muscifera, are very variable in size, shape and color. No two populations are the same.
Keep plant in partial shade. Plant can be grown in cool to intermediate conditions. Pot the plant in fine bark with perlite or sphagnum moss. Water regularly and keep potting media moist.
Named in honor of Don Jose Restrepo, an investigator of Colombian flora, political figure and historian.
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- Luer, C.A. (1996). Icones Pleurothallidinarum XIII - Systematics of Restrepia. Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri; 168 p, 16 color plates, 63 line drawings; ISBN 0-915279-39-8