Hi Laura here. I am part of the team in charge of warm America. I have chosen Prosthechea aemula which is in full flower this morning and filling the section with scent.
This orchid is found over a wide range in Central and South America and has been recorded in Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil. The species grows in wet montane forests and have a sweet Play-doh smell (that’s what we think anyway). They grow at an elevation of 600-1800 meters high and so like warm or intermediate temperatures. We grow these orchids in our Warm Americas section which has a minimum of 15 degrees.
The sweet Play-doh scent is a very strong smell that actually fills the whole greenhouse and really lets you know that Prosthechea aemula is in flower. This species comes into flower every January and lasts for about six weeks.