We have had featured several miniature orchids this week, so in complete contrast we have one of our monster orchids in full bloom. Dendrochilum magnum is a magnificent species with long thin spikes that each hang down around ninety 1cm flowers. With around 70 spikes this year it means that our specimen has over 6000 flower.
As you can see, the plant which is 2m across and over 1m high completely fills our greenhouse work area and is much too big for our usual photography spot.
The flowers are really fragrant with a smell has been described by visitors as ‘lovely’, ‘horrible’ and ‘weird’ reflecting its rather odd and hard to pin down fragrance. I rather like the scent which is reminiscent of grass and toilet cleaner – but nicer than that makes it sound.
Interestingly the flowers come out green and over a few days change to a golden yellow.
The species is native to the Philippines where it grows in mossy forest from 1600 to 2000m and we find it appreciates heavy watering throughout the year and it enjoys conditions in our Warm Asia section although it would grow cooler. It grows quickly into a sizeable plant and is a really rewarding species to grow. We grow our large plant in a vegetable crate going free at the market and the combination of heavy watering and free drainage seem to suit it very well.