Possibly our most impressive specimen plant is this 2.5m tall, gorgeously fragrant, ancient plant of Aerides oderata(we have been growing it from a small plant purchased from Burnham Nurseries in 1995) .
It won a cultural certificate from the RHS in June 2014 but has increased a lot in size since then. The species is native to lowland forests in the Himalayas and we have seen it in Assam in warm monsoon forest in the plain of the Brahmaputra and up to 400m in the surrounding hills,
We found plants growing on the trunks of large trees where the pendulous stems reach our towards light.
The area shown here is on the edge of Kaziranga National Park which has lots of great orchids in the tree covered ridges amongst the lush grassland and wetland that is home to the worlds largest population of Black Rhino as well as large populations of Indian Elephant and Tiger.
We grow the species hanging in Warm Asia and spray it with rain water daily. Our clone is unusual in that it branches freely and produces up to four flower spikes from each growth each summer. Interestingly it grew very slowly in the cooler old greenhouse before we moved into our current greenhouse in 2010 and had a single growth with at most two flower stems. This is clearly a plant that like it hot. The fragrance by the way is a sweet lemon citrus.
It is great to have this plant in flower today as we have the BBC coming at 10am to plan the forthcoming filming for Countyfile.