Laelia superbiens – 365 days of orchids – day 1837

Today’s orchid is a real giant. Thanks to Lilly for taking this shot of me with the long flower spike.

Laelia superbiens is a real monster with mature plants several feet across and large flower heads on 2 and 3m long flower spikes.

We have split our large specimen plants and this is the first flowering of the divisions. The very large flowers are 12cm across and bourn in clusters of up to 20 flowers on long stiff flower spike (2m high in this young plant – see photo with 1m rule)

The species is found in Mexico and central America as an epiphyte in open Oak forests or a terrestrial on cliffs. It grows at around 1200-1500m altitude and so is cool growing and we grow plants in our Cool Americas section (min 12C) in baskets for good drainage.

The pseudobulbs are also enormous with thick leathery leaves – a fantastic orchid.


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