As you have seen on our blogs, we have seem a lot of terrific orchids during the trip to Sarawak. One that stands out for me is this Cleisostoma species that was growing high on small trees in Kerangas forest at Bako National Park. Kerangas forest or heath forest is made up a stunted dwarf trees including Erica species surrounded by grasses, nepanthes species and other herbs including terrestrial orchids. The small trees do have epiphytes but these must be able to withstand the dry heat in the day and lower humidity than nearby taller forest.
Cliesostoma teretefoilium copes with the conditions by reducing its leaf area to thin ‘terete’ leaves and producing a large root area to act as a water store. This young flowering plant is upright but with time plants become pendulous and we saw some large non-flowering specimens. (below)
In cultivation this is a plant that needs warm, bright conditions and perfect drainage. We grow all our cliesostomas mounted and hung high in our warm asia section.