With our Spring shows approaching fast we have started looking for the plants that will be flowering at the right times. Renanthera monachica normally flowers in March for us but has opened its flowers early this year – but they are long lived so let’s hope that they are still looking good for the RHS Orchid Show at Wisley in March (25th-27th)
Renanthera is a small genus closely related to Vanda with several stunning orchids including this small growing species (the plant here is 25cm tall)
We grow Renanthera monochica in a basket hanging high in the roof of our Warm Asia section (minimun 17C) where it gets plenty of light and dries out between waterings. The species is endemic to the island of Luzon where it grows in hot lowland forest up to 500m altitude. The flowers look fragile but are very long lasting and mature plants like this one produce branched spikes. Different clones are quite varied in colour and spotting making this a species to look out for if you have the right conditions.
Renathera monachica grows alongside its cousin Renthera imschootiana which is wonderful but enormous (photo below), Renanthera monachica, on the other hand, flowers as a really small plant and so this is a Renanthera for small spaces.