Do zoom in on the wonderful spots on this lovely little species. This is a very free flowering and rewarding Bulbophyllum found from the Himalayas across to Vietnam in evergreen monsoon forest from 800 to 2000m.
We know this habitat well from our travels in Sikkim with its warm wet summers. The winters are dryer but plants would not experience long periods with no moisture and so keep their rather soft lush leaves. We water plants throughout the year and find they grow well both in pots and baskets. As the range of the plant indicates, the species is not too fussy about temperature and with us grows in any of our sections with minimum temperatures above 10C though it seems to marginally prefer the warmest temperatures of Warm Asia. It may be that our clone has its genetic origins in the lower altitudinal range.
As you can see this plant has three spikes coming out together and flowering twice a year is common.
This beautiful orchid is another start from the Malvern Show.
Aerides crassifolia is found in open warm forest in South East Asia and is a species we have seed growing in Loas at around 900m on large trees in good light.
The flowers are large and spread out for an Aerides species and the leaves are thick and leathery (hence the name). We have found that the species from Warm Asian forests actually prefers growing in our Warm Americas section amoungst Cattleyas hanging high in the roof in good light and drying out between waterings in a basket.
The orchid family is full of unusual adaptations but this little bulbophyllum is really unique with a strange balloon like appendage dangling between the tiny flowers.
Looking closely at the three sided ‘balloon’ it appeas to be a modified flower with the inflated part being an infertile seed pod and the remnants of a flower at the end of it. Anyway, the ‘balloon’ and the flowers swing about in the slightest breeze and this has to be a pollination strategy worth studying? Is it a fungus mimic to attract fungus gnats? is it a larvae mimic attracting a predator?
The species was described in 2017 and comes from Thailand. It is a miniature with bulbs up to 1cm acrss and two 1cm leaves. It sprawls across its mount and flowers come from the base of mature bulbs.
We grow the species mounted in our warm Asia and spray it daily.
Today’s orchid of the day is another of our display plants at Malvern and last year won RHS Orchid of the Year. This year it is flowering a little later and so isn’t yet at peak flowering – but still looks gorgeous.
This terete leaved relative of Cattleya is native to Brazil where it grows in warm open forest in good light. It is relatively slow growing and we find it does best mounted where its long lived roots can grip tightly to the bark. We find it dislikes pots or baskets presumably because the roots cannot tolerate prolonged wet periods. Saying this we find that mounted it enjoys being watered daily and when we have with held watering at flowering time the flowers have not opened fully – so mounted but well watered seems to be its preference in our greenhouse.
This is the same plant last year
Today’s orchid of the day has been selected from our Malvern display by Janet – thanks Janet.
Odontoglossum multistelare is a cool growing species found in cloud forests at around 2000m altitude from Ecuador to Peru. The plant produces branched spikes of attractive flowers each summer and a small plant produces a lot of flower for its size.
Some names are better than others and multistellare meaning many starred seems a good choice for this species.