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More than 500 species of Masdevallia can be found in Mexico, Central and South America, with most being discovered in the high areas of the Andes region. They may be epiphytesterrestrials or growing as lithophytes on damp rocks. Most of these plants are from high altitude cloud forests and require particularly cool conditions abundant with moisture throughout the year.

They are not able tolerate dryness, low humidity, or excessive temperatures and it is important to know that they are very easy to kill so it is imperative to keep a continuously close eye on their environment. They will simply drop all their leaves and suddenly collapse if allowed to dry completely or when they are exposed to high temperatures.

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