Aerides houlettiana – 365 days of orchids – day 1644

This is our third Aerides species of the summer.

Aerides houlettiana is a flamboyant orchid that transports us to the forest of Southern Laos. Our expeditions to Laos in 2005, 2008 and 2011 allowed us the opportunity to explore the rich forests of the Bolaven Plateau where this species grew.

We collected seed from a plant hanging in a restaurant near Tadd Fann waterfall  in 2008 and the plant shown is one of the seedlings from this batch. The startling flowers are probably butterfly pollinated and left to its own devices the plant is semi pendulous with the very pendulous flower spikes hanging below the growths to allow easy pollinator access. The flowers are fragrant as well as beautiful. Now that this plant is 12 years from seed sow it it has a long pendulous stem and copious roots that hand in the air making it a very attractive thing hanging from the roof of our Warm Asia section.

Aerides houlletiana is a medium sized species with a range across South East Asia where it grows in warm lowland forest up to around 1000m. We saw the species in the forests around the edge of the Bolevan Plateau in Southern Laos in open forest where it experience a warm wet summer followed by a cooler winter and a hot dry spring.

We grow the species in baskets of course bark and keep plants well watered in the summer and damp enough to avoid shrivelling in the winter. We keep the plants in Warm Asia (minimum 17C)

The species is a smaller growing species than Aerides odorata (below)

And larger growing than Aerides crassifolia (below)


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