We have had a really exciting day in the greenhouse with our visiting class from St Dunstan’s School, Glastonbury. Orchid project students gave tours of the greenhouse and workshops in laboratory propagation, botany and conservation.
A highpoint of the visit for some students was smelling the unusual scent of this dramatic Bulbophyllum species.
Bulbophyllum rothschildianum is native the Eastern Himalayan region of Southern China, North East India and Burma. I have been to the warm lowland forests of Arunachal Pradesh where the species is found. These forests have a very wet summer when growth occurs but a much dryer winter which is the flowering time. We find the species does well in both baskets or pots but appreciated good drainage and watering regularly even in winter so that the bulbs do not shrivel.
The flowers smell quite strongly of fresh fish (we think mackerel) which is quite pleasant as long as you are expecting it. We presume that the fly pollinators find it irresistible. To get an idea of flower size the pot in the photo below is a 15cm pot.