Coelia Bella – 365 days of orchids – day 1441

I am sure that those who joined Orchid Christmas last night enjoyed being shown this lovely species by Kate – and being invited to smell it!. The reason that Kate chose to feature Coelia bella was because of its gorgeous (and very seasonal) scent of marzipan.

The colours aren’t traditionally festive, but close your eyes and you are in the middle of a sweet Christmas delight – perhaps we should guard this plant as it smells as if it could be Stollen!!!! (sorry that is an awful pun)

This unusual flower with bright pink sepal tips and a contrasting yellow lip is a fragrant addition to the greenhouse in winter. It has possibly the prettiest buds of any orchid species we grow.

This species is a terrestrial from Central America where it is found from 500-1500m in open forests. We find that the species prefers to grow in our Warm Americas section (min 15C) but in a shady spot as it can suffer with black areas on the leaves if exposed to too much sun or heat stress.


Join the Discussion


  1. Agnes Jones says:

    Does anyone remember watching Sesame Street with their children? This orchid looks just like Big Bird. Ha ha.

  2. Ric Reilly says:

    Sadly I had a clash of zooms this week, and as I was hosting one of them I missed yours.

    I did pass on your link to the Cornwall members, one of who reports that she was not able to get in despite trying until just before the call closed. Just wondering if there was any problems or perhaps the zoom licence was exceeded?

    • Simon Pugh-Jones says:

      Apologies, running the zoom and my 9 student speakers and many more visitors than expected meant that I struggled to admit everyone.