Phalaenopsis chibae – 365 days of orchids – day 1941

Our next Phalaenopsis species is this delightful miniature species with charming 1cm flowers.

Phalaenopsis chibae is a recent discovery, first described in 1996, and rather unusual with its cute, chirpy little yellow and red flowers – quiite the oposite of supermarket Phalaenopsis. It is fairly closely related to the Himalayan Phalaenopsis deliciosa (below) which both used to be included in the genus Kingidium before joining their larger cousins in the genus Phalaenopsis.

Phalaenospis chibae is endemic to Vietnam and found in hot forest at 400-600m altitude, and so enjoys it hot – we grow it minimum 19C. The Kingidium species (now Phalaenopsis) that we have seen in the Himalayas are generally in shaded spots in semi-diciduous forests (several species lose their leaves in the dry winter season) but we have little data on Phalaenopsis chibae but its leaves turn red in bright light implying it also prefers a bit of shade.


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