365 days of orchids-day 63-Laelia superbiens

Joe here today posting about probably the tallest orchid you’ve ever seen (to me at least). Laelia superbiens grows on cliffs in Central America and flowers in the winter.

The photo shows how the plant and flowers tower above me. We have two plants and one has flower spikes about 150cm long while the other plant has spikes over 2m long. I think it would be impossible for the pollinating bees to miss this species in flower.

Simon Pugh-Jones adds; this is the largest of the Laelias and the large flowers in clusters of up to twenty flowers on their long stiff flower spikes are truly superb and fully justify the name. Unfortunately the plants are enormous and we have not managed to get one to a show for many years due the the size of the baskets they live in and the mass of roots that now pass down through the staging. We grow the species in Cool Americas with other member of the genus.


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