For all the many years that I have grown orchids, I resisted getting Masdevallia orchids. They are a little pickier, like cooler conditions, and just aren't as easy as other common orchids like Phalaenopsis. They're pretty, but I resisted.
Until this year.
I got two Masdevallias off the internet last winter, and I got two at the Portland orchid show in April. Neither of the mail order ones has bloomed yet, but I'm feeling good that they haven't died and have both grown new leaves. One of the ones from Portland came with buds that eventually bloomed, so that was fun to see but I couldn't really take credit for those flowers.
But NOW!!! Look! This is the very first Masdevallia flower that has ever formed entirely under my care! I am triumphant!
This is Masdevallia strobelii, the large form from Ecuagenera (an Ecuadorean orchid company). I also have the small form, which is the one that came in bud and bloomed last spring. The flowers on both forms seem to be about the same size, but the leaves on the large form are... larger. Strangely enough. Ha!
The flowers are fragrant, and this is is such a sweet little orchid. I am delighted.