Sobralia is a genus of about 100 mostly terrestrial species found from Mexico to tropical South America. The tallest orchids in the world belong to the Sobralia genus. Sobralia altissima of Peru can grow over 40 feet tall. Many species have large Cattleya-like blooms, which are often short-lived. These plants enjoy strong light, and lots of water. They can be planted in the ground in mild climates like San Francisco. My favorite thing about Sobralia's is the gorgeous bamboo-like foliage. It is worth growing these plants for their leaves alone.
My good friend Bruce Rogers has been growing and breeding Sobralia's for many years. He is the world's expert on these plants, and even has a species named after him - Sobralia rogersiana. Because of Bruce, these wonderful plants are now available at many of our bay area nurseries. To read more about his beauties visit OZ Gardens. Also, if your in the area Bruce will be selling his plants at Orchids in the Park in a few weeks.