Maxillaria tenuifolia – 365 days of orchids – day 1607

We have just had our film star orchids return from the BBC Green Planet team (photo below) and amongst them this fragrant species from Central America was still in full flower.

We have seen the species in the wild in Guatemala growing in dryish lowland forest. We found it mostly on the trunks of trees or on lower branches where it has some shade even though the forest is open and trees are semi-deciduous. It is locally called the coconut orchid as it produces a powerful fragrance which is unmistakably coconut.

The plant has an ascending habit with a rhizome that grows bulbs progressively upwards which can make potting inconvenient and we grow plants mounted or in baskets in our Warm Americas section (min 15C) but ensure that it has more shade than most of the plants in that section under some permanent additional shade net.


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