365 days of orchids – day 327 – Cleisostoma subulatum

This is our third Cleisostoma species. It is a medium sized plant with long pendulous spikes of small flowers that open successively. The species is found from Sikkim in the Himalayas through South east Asia to Malaysia and the Philippines. It grows as an epiphyte in lowland forest up to 500m altutide.

Cleisostoma is a lovely genus and plants have very diverse leaves but very similar flowers. The flowers all have their spurs protruding from their buds well before they open. The leaves on today’s species are long narrow and flat where as Cleisostoma arietinum (day 194) has short curved terete leaves.(see below)

We grow all our Cliesostoma species in our Warm Asia section in shade and warmth (minimum 18C)



Tickets still available for this Thursday – An evening with Simon Pugh-Jones

We still have tickets available for the first Lecture in the Writhlington Lecture Series – Orchid Project. As well as an evaluation of the key events in the history of this internationally acclaimed project there will be workshops and activities around conservation and orchid science as well as a chance to take your own propagated orchids home with you. Adults and children welcome – contact to reserve your free tickets. The event takes place in the Mendip Studio School building.


365 days of orchids – day 326 – Cattleya walkeriana

This is an unusual Cattleya and one we have been keen to succeed with for many years. All other Cattleya species (apart from Cattleya nobilor) produce their flowers from the top of the pseudo-bulb but walkeriana produces flowers on spikes produced in the Autumn from the base of the newly matured pseudobulbs. It also has very distinct flowers and is therefore difficult to confuse with other species.

Cattleya walkeriana grows as an epiphyte in dryish areas often along streams across a broad area of Southern Brazil. It behaves rather as a xerophyte coping with long periods of high temperatures and little rainfall. In cultivation we try to replicate the hot, dry, bright conditions it experiences in the wild by hanging it in a basket high in the roof of Warm Americas. We water it well when in growth but in the winter give it very little water. This helps us to grow large plump pseudobulbs but avoid and rotting off roots or bulbs in the winter.

This year it has rewarded our culture with two sprays of flowers and five flowers in total – we are delighted and hope that it will develop into a grand specimen over time.


40 days to go – and it looks as though we might just make it :)

On January 1st we set ourselves the rather optimistic challenge of blogging a different orchid species in flower on every day of the year. We are now 325 days along our journey and looking around the greenhouse we are starting to believe that 365 species over 365 days is just about possible. We have started to run up against the issue of species flowering now that we blogged in January (the day 1 species, Cattleya percivaliana will be opening its buds later this week) but, fingers crossed, we might just manage 40 new species flowering before the end of the year. Wish us luck and do come and visit us for Orchid Christmas on December 13th (6pm-9pm) to join in the excitement.


365 days of orchids – day 325 – Restrepia cuprea


This is a large flowered and floriferous restrepia that flowers several times a year and regularly puts on a really good display like the one this week.

The species is endemic to Colombia and its name meaning ‘copper coloured restrepia’ accurately describes the very distinct colour of the flowers.

We succeed with Restrepias mounted, in pots and in baskets like this one. The challenge in baskets is to keep plants sufficiently damp during the summer but if this can be achieved a small basket turns into a fantastic ball of restrepia with flowers produced in all directions – lovely.

We are never without flowers on at least some of our restrepia species and several of our regular customers tell us that they do very well with restrepias in a shady spot indoors.