There has been a ‘funny smell’ in the greenhouse this week and the culprit is this fascinating orchid species from the Philippines. Whenever Bulbophyllum nymphopolitanum flowers it gets passed around greenhouse club so everyone gets to experience the foul smell. Most students describe it as horse poo but worse, and I think it smells more like Rhino poo. It is certainly an impressive piece of evolution and must fool its pollinating flies every time.
Bulbophyllum nymphopolitanum grows in warm evergreen forest in the Philippines at around 1000m and in shade. We replicate these conditions in our warm Asia section and keep plants watered throughout the year with no distinct rest period. Apart from the fascinating flowers, the species has very attractive dark leaves and makes a compact smallish plant.