365 days of orchids – day 636 – Penillabium struthio

This is a miniature species native to South East Asia and Malaysia, recorded in hot lowland forest near rivers. The flowers are large for the size of the plant (2cm across) and they do have a remarkable lip with a spur. The flowers flower successively from short spikes over a very long period which makes up for the flowers only lasting a couple of days. The leaves have a span of around 8cm.

The species has soft leaves suggesting it prefers shaded conditions and plants seem to do best when moss has naturally developed on the cork mount. We grow the plant mounted on cork where its flowers can be seen by turning the plant upside down.

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