Vanda denisoniana- 365 days of orchids – day 1899

Welcome to Vanda weekend – all of a sudden our greenhouses are full of flowering Vanda species (lucky us). We will be taking most of them with us to the Glasgow Orchid Fair (23rd and 24th April) so that others can enjoy them too.

Our first Vanda is Vanda denisoniana that flowers with us every April, just as it does in its native Laos.

All of our plants have been grown in our school laboratory from seed collected from cultivated plants in Luang Prabang, Laos, in 2006. We found plants growing in a back street in this wonderful city (a world heritage site) and were struck by the beauty of these subtle flowers.

The parent plant in Luang Prabang. (April 2007)

The plants had ripe seed and a small quantity collected was sown back at school in 2007. The majority of the seedlings were returned to Laos when we visited and helped Souk and Eddie set up their laboratory in Paksong in 2011 but a few were kept to grow a permanent seed source at Writhlington.

The plants have grown well but slowly and have been flowering every year since 2017. We grow the plants in baskets that allow their extensive roots to hang freely in the air. We spray plants daily throughout the year.

The species is found in primary forest from 450-1200m from Southern China, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. It is probable that the plants in Luang Prabang originate from the still heavily forested North Eastern Laos. The flowers have the added benefit of being beautifully fragrant in the evening.



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