Bulbophyllum falcatum- 365 days of orchids – day 1880
We have two distinct varieties of this lovely African species flowering this week in the school greenhouse.
As you can see one variety, Bulbophyllum falcatum var velutinum, (above) has a much shorter and wider rachis that carries the flowers, is much greener especially in the rachis and has larger growing bulbs and leaves. The type variety (below) we call Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘red’ as it has a lot more red pigment (often on the rachis though it varies with light levels) much darker leaves and a very long, thinner, rachis that carries the flowers.
Both varieties of the species are found in tropical west and central africa from Sierra Leone to Rwanda. The species grows as an epiphyte in wet evergreen lowland forest similar to that we have explored in Rwanda.
We find this a really rewarding and easy species to grow that flowers from a young age but multiplies quickly. It likes the warmth of Warm Asia and soon drops leaves if grown too cool. We find it grows well in a basket or a pot but in a pot it may quickly grow out of its own pot and try rooting in any others near it – a littler troublesome but worth putting up with 🙂