Orchids can be spectacular in different ways. Bulbophyllum auricomum is the national flower of Myanmar and features in traditional songs and literature as well as in buddhist traditions. Its name refers to its golden lip and as the plants grow high in the tree tops the flowers represent purity.
We first came across the species when asked to grow it from seed by a local Buddhist centre where they grew the species in the traditional way on coir matting. We found that the species is easy from seed in-vitro and can even flower in jars.
The species comes from seasonally dry lowland forests and drops its twin leaves in the winter. We find that it needs a dry bright winter (we put our plants up high out of the reach of most of our waterings) or it doesn’t flower and is liable to rot, but the particular requirements of the species are worth the effort for these lovely fragrant flowers. During the summer we water heavily to encourage large bulbs for good flowering and the species spends all year in our Warm Asia section high