365 days of orchids – day 146 – Prosthechea bacculus

This seems to be a week of fragrant orchids and this one is one of our most scented species with a fragrance of sweet play-doh. In fact the scent is rather too much if we need to take the plant to show in a van so it is a good idea to open the windows. In the greenhouse it fills the whole of Warm Americas.

The species is found over a wide range through Central and South America and forms a large plant with 40 cm pseudobulbs topped by 40cm leaves. The flowers are almost always in pairs, back to back but we have had threes on particularly strong growths.

Found from 400 to 1700m the plant is not fussy about temperature and we grow it well in both Warm Americas and Cool Americas keeping it damp all year. Growing the species in different temperatures extends the flowering season as the warmer growing plants flower first during May while the cooler growing plants wait until June.


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