We can tell that summer is definitely here – Renathera imshootiana is flowering again high in the roof of our Warm Americas section.
This extraordinary red flowered orchid is one of our tallest specimens at over 2m tall and it is a real pleasure to take it down from the roof of Warm Asia to snap a few photos
Unfortunately this is one of the orchid species threatened by extinction due to the unsustainable trade in wild collected plants. Fortunately like most tropical epiphytic orchids it is easy to grow from seed and our plant will be pollinated to help make the species common in cultivation and so reduce the pressure for wild collection.
The species is native to the Eastern Himalayas where it grows in warm evergreen forest along rivers from 500 to 1000m and we replicate these conditions by hanging the plant high in our Warm Asia section (min 17C) where it reliably flowers twice a year – once in the early summer and again in the autumn and winter. The flowers opening this week will still be out at the end of November. By the way our heating is now off in the greenhouse and the auto vents closing every evening will keep warm Asia well over 17C between now and the end of September – Yes summer is here.