The Sobralia Pages

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26 April 2010: Added to the Distribution page: "Sobrália is a small town in Brazil in the state of Minas Gerais, just west of the Rio Bahia. Its population in 2004 was an estimated 6,000 habitants. The name Sobrália came from a local Native American tribe referring to the flower Sobralia." (according to Wikipedia) It is approximately equidistant from Governador Valadares (to the northeast) and Ipatinga (to the southwest). This area is east of Serra do Cipo National Park, and the entire area is northeast of the city of Belo Horizonte.

29 July 2008: Bill & Lorraine Dobson grow orchids near Sydney, Australia. They've posted photos of what looks like a very nicely grown Sobralia xantholeuca hybrid at: and flower at:

26 July 2008: I was pleased to find sobralias for sale at the Parkside Orchid Fest in Ottsville, Pennsylvania. Lauris Rose, from Cal-Orchid (website:, but no sobralias are listed there), had 1-gallon pots (when are we ever going to move over to metric measurements) of various divisions: Sobralia macrantha 'Angelique' (near-alba); Sobralia Veitchii (two color forms); and Sobralia Mirabilis.

20 June 2007: Eric Christenson will publish a review of the Sobralia macrantha complex later this year in the Orchideen Journal (formerly J. Orchideenfr.). He says "that journal went to large format this year and is spectacular - the European equivalent of the Orchid Digest."

23 April 2007: Ulla & Jan Jurrissen of Kelley's Korner (Kittery, Maine), won a trophy for the Best Miscellaneous Genera for their Sobralia macrantha, at the New Hampshire Orchid Society show, "Journey to Paradise," Feb. 23-25, 2007, at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua.
NHOS member and professional fly rod maker Fred Kretchman is also a sobralia grower; his Sobralia macrantha also bloomed on schedule for the society's June 2006 Orchid Caravan (photo was at right; trying to fix link - July 2008).

18 April 2007: The Second Scientific Conference on Andean Orchids will convene in Loja, Ecuador, at the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL) on15-17 November 2007. The university has a state-of-the-art convention center that can seat 800, with three huge video screens and a professional sound system. Part of the hall will be sectioned off with a modular wall for a poster session, too. Preceding the conference, an international orchid show promises 1000 species in flower! Pre-conference and post-conference tours throughout mainland Ecuador with Ecuagenera are also planned. Further information will be placed online at both and

Feb. 2007: AGO show in Guatemala City; Sobralia macrantha exhibited.

June 2006: Received notice of new sobralia research project at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, by Dr. Mark Whitten and others.

26 May 2006: Visited private orchid collections in and around Guatemala City. Silvia and Mario de Palmieri grow a good variety of Sobralia species.

25 May 2006: Gave lecture on sobralias for the Guatemalan Orchid Association (AGO) at Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City.

20-21 May 2006: Attractive lavender-violet sobralias blooming as bedding plants at the Santo Tomas Hotel, Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Similar to macrantha. Plants of this species also sold by roadside sellers on the road south to Panajachel.

20 Feb 2006: Gave lecture on Sobralias at the Coalition for Orchid Species (COS) monthly meeting, Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, Coral Gables, FL. Invited by Bert Pressman; we toured the wonderful Chihuly glass exhibit throughout the gardens.

13-16 Oct 2005 Visited Guatemala for the Asociación Guatemalteca de Orquideología (AGO) show at Anacafe headquarters, Guatemala City. Saw many sobralias in Coban!

20 Sept 2005: Gave lecture on Sobralias at the Malibu Orchid Society monthly meeting in Pacific Palisades, California.

7 April 2005: Gave lecture on Sobralias at the Houston Orchid Society monthly meeting. Sob. rosea demo plant.

20 Nov 2004: Gave lecture on Sobralias at the Orchid Society of Minnesota monthly meeting, Bloomington, Minn. (Minneapolis area).

14 Nov 2004: Gave lecture on Sobralias at the Shreveport Orchid Society monthly meeting, northern Louisiana.

February 2004: Visited Ecuador and was astounded by the number and variety of Sobralias and Elleanthus in bloom.

11 Jan 2004: Guillermo Angulo posts a very interesting commentary on the website of the Jardín Botánico José Celestino Mutis (in Bogotá), "Bautizo de la orquídea Sobralia mutisii - El hallazgo de una nueva variedad de esta flor en la jungla de asfalto" ["Baptism of the orchid Sobralia mutisii The finding of a new variety of this flower in the asphalt jungle."]. The article is in Spanish but Google can provide a rough English translation. URL:

In this article, Guillermo discusses a Colombian sobralia species with cream-colored sepals and petals and a fringed lip, which he photographed in November 2003. He sent me a photo of this plant, and I considered it to be a pale color form of Sobralia dichotoma. With his permission, I posted his photo on the webpage for that species: Sobralia dichotoma.
After talking with Father Pedro Ortiz, Guillermo has written that this is probably a new species, unlike either Sobralia cattleya or Sobralia dichotoma, and he proposes the name Sobralia mutisii, in honor of José Celestino Mutis. I look forward to hearing more of Fr. Ortiz's work on this species.

23 August 2003: Gave lecture on Sobralias at the Mid-America Orchid Congress, Louisville, Kentucky.

21 April 2003: Gave new lecture on Sobralias at the National Arboretum, Washington, D.C., for the National Capitol Orchid Society (8:00 pm).

18 April 2002: New Sobralia species from Ecuador that were published in 1998:
Sobralia ecuadorana C.H. Dodson in Orquideologia, 21(1): 22.
Sobralia gentryi C.H. Dodson in Orquideologia, 21(1): 26.
Sobralia hagsateri C.H. Dodson in Orquideologia, 21(1): 30.
Sobralia luerorum C.H. Dodson in Orquideologia, 21(1): 33.
Sobralia neudeckeri C.H. Dodson in Orquideologia, 21(1): 34.
Sobralia oroana C.H. Dodson in Orquideologia, 21(1): 37.
Sobralia piedadiae C.H. Dodson in Orquideologia, 21(1): 40, as piedadae.
Sobralia stevensonii C.H. Dodson in Orquideologia, 21(1): 42.
Sobralia tamboana C.H. Dodson in Orquideologia, 21(1): 44.

17 April 2002: Attended Eric Christenson's lecture on Sobralias at the AOS Members' Meeting in Chicago on Friday, April 12th. I will post my notes from it shortly.

14-15 March 2002: Attended and judged the annual orchid show in San Jose, Costa Rica. Several sobralias were exhibited, including one large plant, fortuitously blooming on the first day of judging, labeled as Sobralia powellii. The flowers were white with a white throat, and leaves were not as dark or stiff as the variety that grows in El Valle de Anton, Panama, going by the same name. Also looked at a pale lavender-blue sobralia flower that Carlos Bonia (Costa Brava Orchids) brought in. He also has a very beautiful dark violet-blue sobralia which is probably Sobralia warscewiczii. Costa Brava will be one of the vendors at the Redlands Festival in May.

3 March 2002: After a long hiatus, I would like to bring the following to your attention. It must be rare that a Ph.D. dissertation is focused on sobralias. But in 1992, the following work was completed at the Department of Applied BioSciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH): M.K. Oechslin-Merkel, Ethnopharmakologische Untersuchungen von Arzneipflanzen, die in der Volksmedizin der Kallawaya-Indianer Boliviens Verwendung finden (Sobralia violacea L. und Gunnera manicata L.), Diss. ETH Zürich, 1992, Nr. 9826.

21 January 2002: What I had previously labeled Sobralia atropubescens, from Ecuador, is actually Sobralia melanothrix. Thank you to Dr. Leslie Garay for pointing this out.

12 September 2001: Two sobralias blooming in Houston: S. atropubescens from Ecuador, which has been reblooming bi-weekly for three months from the tips of the same growths; and a seed-grown Sobralia from Oak Hill Gardens, labeled as "macrantha", but with a close affinity to S. atropubescens. The funnelled flower of this second plant is smaller, with a white picotee edge around tan petals and sepals, and a predominantly white lip, the botton half of which is medium rose-pink.

4 Sept 2001: Need information on the orchids of Uruguay. Here is a souvenir sheet issued in 1996 that depicts a white sobralia with a dark pink ruffled lip.
Sobralia atropubescens continued to bloom in Houston through August.

23 Aug 2001: Can you identify this unknown white sobralia from Costa Rica? It was photographed by Walter Schug in cloud forest at 1700m (San José: Coronado).

10 July 2001: Ecuadoran species, Sobralia atropubescens is blooming here in Houston. Plant height approximately 15" (0.4m) and the tan to pale brown flowers are borne singly and apically. Acquired from Ecuagenera; it was labeled "Pinas" by Pepe.

April 2001: Sobralia crocea blooming in Houston.

13 November 2000: Have two images of unidentified Sobralia species from Gould hummingird plates: Plate 85 (white with pale rose lip)and Plate 300 (deep pink/purple). Can anyone suggest an identification of either the hummingbirds or the Sobralia species?

6 October 2000: Question for Ted Green: "Ted, what are the dimensions of this flower? I grow Sobralia callosa, a mini-mini (about 1 ft high) with deep green corrugated leaves, and a hot fuchsia-pink flower very similar to this about 1 3/4 inches vertically. Is that in the same size ballpark?"
Cindy Hill in San Diego. P.S. great photo!

30 Sept 2000: Sobralia identity crisis! Check this photo by Ted Green in Hawaii -- is it S. callosa or S. lepida, or something else altogether?


26 Sept 2000: Various web references to the use of sobralias in new-age perfumes. In particular see "Andean Orchid Flower Essences" at Star Flower Essences.

"Roger Valencia is the Peruvian connection for the Andean orchid flower essence project. ..He is an awesome guide and an avid botanist. He co-founded a non-profit organization called "Pacha" (meaning earth in Quechua) whose function is to plant trees. His hobby is orchids in the wild - he loves them. He has written a book about Andean orchids and has a wonderful relationship with them. Roger has an uncanny ability to find the orchids - they come out to say hello when he is around..." More info about Roger Valencia.

"Star Essences: These very special Andean Orchid flower essences are made from orchids in full bloom, found well adapted and happy in their natural habitat high in the Andes, in the "Villkabamba" (meaning sacred place) Mountains in and around Machu Picchu, Peru."

"The Mother essences are made with water taken from a sacred ceremonial fountain at the ruins of "Winay Wiyna." In the Quechua language "Winay Wiyna" means "forever young." The Mother essences were placed in triangular shaped clear glass bottles and were placed in the sun as several sacred sites in Peru."

"It is said that Orchids are the flower of ascension. Their DNA structure is the most highly evolved of any plants on earth. Because of their complex nature they are considered to be a synthesis of the workings of supreme intelligence. On the evolutionary ladder of the plant world Orchids are comparable to the animal kingdom species of dolphins and humans. In their beauty, specialization and intricate structure Orchids demonstrate a profound understanding of natural laws."

"ANCHORING LIGHT ~ SOBRALIA DICHOTOMA (Machu Picchu Orchid) This essence is useful when consciously serving as a divine instrument for anchoring light, connecting ley lines and healing he planetary grids. We are transducers of energy and this essence helps us remain stable, grounded and loving, adhering to the concept of peace, while doing this very powerful work. Also good to use during yoga. T'ai Chi, planetary acupuncture and all forms of sacred movement."

Neblina by Yves Rocher

15 Sept 2000: A new orchid-based perfume was released earlier this year, which includes essence of Sobralias.
Neblina "Yves Rocher introduced Ne-blina, inspired by Pico da Néblina, the highest mountain in the Tepuis range of the Amazon rain forest. Neblina captures the essence of rare orchids found on its misty hillsides. The group of researchers who climbed Pico da Néblina used head space technology to capture these essences."

"The fragrance incorporates top notes of Eriopsis biloba (orange orchid with apricot) and Maguireothamnus speciosus (a transparent green jasmine). The heart has notes of Sobralia (violet and yellow orchid with white flower) and humid rock. Base notes include herbs, moss, roots and wood. The perfume is a clear bright yellow in flint glass topped by a pointed, speckled white cap, standing on a blue glass bottom that is shaped like a champagne flask. The Spirit of Neblina, in 1.7-oz. eau de toilette, retails for $34 and the Night of Neblina and Dawn of Neblina, .8-oz. eau de parfums, retail for $40 each." Info at The Fine Fragrance Market or Yves Rocher USA website. Pico da Neblina is located on the Venezuelan/Brazilian border...

15 August 2000: I established this website. :<)

This website was born in August 2000.

Copyright © 2003 Nina Rach

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