Coelogyne asperata – 365 days of orchids – day 1254

Today we have another of the species we have been fortunate to see in the forests of Sarawak. Coelogyne asperata is a wonderful large growing Coelogyne species found from Malaysia to New Guinea and the Philippines. The stiff ridged leaves are 90cm long on top of stout pseudobulbs and the dramatic 8cm flowers are produced on arching spikes from the centre of the new growths in summer.

Last year, Otto noticed that the flowers look as if they have been dusted in cocoa powder and they do bring to mind a cappuccino. Our plant has three spikes and the several spikes and will look amazing for over a month.

The plants we saw in Sarawak were very similar to our own plant but the flowers were a sulfur yellow rather than the creamy white of our plant. It would be interesting to know how mich of regional variation there is over its wide natural range.


The species grows in warm forests in shade up to 2000m and really seems to enjoy growing warm and wet in our Warm Asia section.

There is a lovely record of a plant in Borneo being pollinated by a large flower beetle here and as mentioned it does have a sweet spicy smell.

This is certainly not an orchid for a small windowsill but it has a grand elegance that warrants the space it occupies in our greenhouse.


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