Oncidium ornithorynchum – 365 days of orchids – day 1055

It is lovely to come home from an expedition and find that the greenhouse at school has been fantastically looked. A massive well dome to Lily, Ellie and Alex + families for all your hard work.

The greenhouse is full of plants in flower that were in bud when we left. One of these is Oncidium ornithorhynchum.

When grown well this species produces several spikes of long lasting flowers from each pseudobulb and so a great little display. It also flowers when quite a small seedling and so is a rewarding plant to grow from seed.

The species is native to Central America where it grows in humid forests up to 1500m altitude and though it seems not to be fussy about temperatures it does best for us in our Cool Americas Section. This plant is mounted on an old piece of Elder but it does well for us mounted or in pots.

 light form.

Many orchid species are quite variable in flower colour and we have this species in a light pink and dark pink form. Both colour forms smell strongly of chocolate and so this is a very popular species at school  – everyone loves chocolate.

This species has been used in breeding hybrids which also have the delicious chocolate scent.


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  1. Michael Radley says:

    Hi Looking at day 1055 you have a named the orchid O ornithorhynchum
    It is O sotoanum. There is a very interesting mix up with the true O ornithorhynchum. There is a write up in spanish in the Lankesteriana link below.
    If you get a translation of the text I would love to read it

    • Simon Pugh-Jones says:

      Hi Micheal – thanks for the link. One of our pleasures is changing labels as past confusions get cleared up like this one. Simon