365 days of orchids – day 95 – Paraphalaenopsis labukensis

Paraphalaenopsis is a genus just four species endemic to Borneo. They are all warm growing with pendulous terete leaves and flowers which appear similar to Phalaenopsis – hence the name.

Paraphalaenopsis labukensis comes from near the Labuk river where it grows as an epiphyte from 500 to 1000m altitude. The species has variable flower colour from yellow to dark brown and on first flowering we are really pleased with the colour of our flowers. The flowers also have a twist on the petals and sepals – we think that is probably to help advertise the flowers in all directions. The leaves are long and thin, so far only 80cm long but apparently over 2m when the plant is fully mature. A basket is great to accommodate the pendulous habit and the plant is well suited to conditions in our Warm Asia section.

 Note the lovely twist on the petals and sepals.


Join the Discussion


  1. Tom says:

    I have kept the plant alive for years and finally have some blooms.
    It is mounted on a piece of wood with Sphagnum moss around the major part of the plant.
    The 4 full terete leaves hang down 28 inches with lots of roots on the wood + dangling, so I am at a loss of any other way to give this unique plant an optimum growth situation.
    Any suggestions.
    My blooms are just as displayed above, there are five and are 2 inch’s each.
    This plant is, in my estimation, a unique and fascinating orchid and I would like to give it a better home. I reside in SE Fla.

    • Simon Pugh-Jones says:

      I am glad to hear of your success with this wonderful species. We find that the species enjoys warmth and shade and we too have buds that will soon open. We have seedlings in our propagation lab too so hopefully we can help this plant to become more widely available.

    • Francine says:

      I received mine yesterday from Hawaii. I have placed it in a wood, slat basket with sphag moss. I moved up to Tallahassee from Key Largo, so I’ve appropriated certain rooms to accommodate certain orchids. I now have to further hone my options due an orchid loving/hating/destroying cat. The pendulous leaves are more than he could ever resist. I have just measured 24 inch leaves, so it appears I have a bit of a wait. I had not thought to do that and appreciate your mentioning it.
      Since Simon and you had buds and blooms in March 2019, I am wondering if the same is true in 2020.

    • Simon Pugh-Jones says:

      Hi Francine – Our plant has a flower spike developing that I expect to flower in April. I too have orchid obsessed cat, and every evening she accompanies me to the greenhouse to hunt for slugs. I think that the damage she does is usually a jelousy thing. Good luck with your Paraphalaenopsis.