Bulbophyllum clandestinum – 365 days of orchids – day 1279

Here is another of the species featured on Saturday’s live talk. Bulbophyllum is a wonderfully diverse genus and includes some of the largest orchid flowers in our collection as well as some of the smallest such as these on this intriguing species.

When we first saw Bulbophyllum clandestinum in the wild, in Laos, it took us a while to be sure it was an orchid species. It grows along a long pendulous rhizome and appears to produse thick alternate leaves along this rhizome like many non orchid climbing epiphytes. The clue to it being an orchid when not in flower are the tiny pseudobulbs at the base of each leaf and the distinct orchid roots that wind their way along the rhizome. Fortunately in Laos we found evidence of flowers too and although these are small they clearly belong to an orchid.

This Bulbophyllum is found across South East Asia and Malaysia and produces tiny yellow or white flowers along its rhizome between the pseudobulbs. The species is quite variable in the colour, size and density of the flowers produced although this is not a surprise for a species with such a large natural range.  We have both white and yellow clones. The white clone above has fewer, larger flowers than the yellow clone (below) although the plants are hard to tell apart when not in flower.

In Laos the plants were growing in low light at 1000m altitude and so we grow the plant mounted but hanging low and shaded in our Warm Asia section. Why not add an orchid with an unusual growth habit to your collection this year?




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