A week from now we will be back in Sarawak and so our thoughts are very much turned to the orchids of Borneo. We expect to see several Coelogyne species in the forests we explore many of which are large warm growing species such as Coelogyne tomentosa.
Some plants have the bonus of producing flowers several times throughout the year and our large plant of Coelogyne tomentosa is in flower more often than it is not.
This coelogyne species is native to Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo and Java where it grows in evergreen forest from 1150 to 2100m altitude. Although the habitat suggests the plant would grow cooler we find that the species does best for us in a shady spot in Warm Asia (minimum 18C) where we grow the species in baskets and keep plants wet all year. Keeping plants wet in a basket can be a challenge as they temd to dry out quickly both in the summer on hot days and in the winter when the heating is working hard. We find the best way to avoid the plant getting to dry is to hang the basket low down so that it is not exposed to the most drying air and bright sun as well as being easier to water thoroughly.
Long pendulous flower spikes are produced throughout the year with periods like this week with multiple spikes out together. The flowers are fairly short lived and easily bruised or water damaged but give a fantastic show when at their peak.
You can follow our expedition on this website from Wednesday 23rd October and see what our 12 students and our wonderful partners in Sarawak achieve.