An orchid collection is always full of surprises – flowers opening on plants you hadn’t even noticed were in bud – and today it is Eria amica.
Eria is a wonderfully diverse genus and Eria amica comes from a group of species with stout pseudobulbs that topped with several leathery leaves and multi-flowered spikes produced from the pseudobulb nodes. The flowers are really attractive with bright red stripes on a cream ground and a yellow mid-lobe to the lip and a lovely fragrance.
Eria amica is found across the Himalayas and South East Asia and we have come across the species in Sikkim and Loas. The species copes with a range of conditions from warm lowland forest at 600m up to cool evergreen forests at 2000m but all these habitats experience a warm wet summer and cooler dryer winters. Plants are small to medium sized and better behaved than many Eria species in cultivation in having a short rhizome and so staying in their pots rather than climbing across benches and into other plant’s pots.