Our second Phalaenopsis species of the week is Phalaenopsis cochlearis – a new species for 365 days of orchids.
This is another smallish growing species that flowers successively along long lived flower spikes. The flowers are relatively quite large (about 4cm across and have a citrus fragrance. The species is very distinct from most phalaenopsis species and a valued part of our collection.
Phalaenopsis cochlearis is also special to us as it is native to Sarawak where it grows in the warm forests on limestone that we have explored in our school expeditions to Borneo although we have yet to find it flowering in the wild.
The species is reported as growing as an epiphyte on trees or as a lithophyte on limestone cliffs similar to the habitat we found Paphiopedilum sanderianum flowering in in 2019 (below)
To replicate the natural conditions we grow Phalaenopsis cochlearis in pots in a shaded spot with a minimum temperature of 17C in the winter.