Today we have been busy preparing our pink road signs to help you find your way to the British orchid Show. How many of the pink signs have you seen already?
This species is new to 365 days but is a very rewarding small species with relatively large deep red striped flowers.
Pleurothallis lynniana is endemic to Ecuador and we find it grows well in deep shade on a north facing wall in our Cool Americas section. We grow the species mounted which suits its growth habit which is horizontal to pendulous.
Flowers form from the leaf axils and leaves bloom successively over a very long period.
With just over a week to go until we host the British Orchid show we have been working hard to prepare the greenhouses for hundreds of visitors each day and we are really looking forward to sharing our plants with the public.
The British Orchid Congress and Show will be a thoroughly international event. We have nurseries from Germany and Belgium, Speakers from as far away a Switzerland and of course fabulous orchids from all over the world. We also have Louisa and Matthias our German exchange students who have become very involved in the Orchid Project since arriving at the Mendip Studio School and will be a big part of the show next week.
The full list of our orchid trade at the show is
Burnham Nurseries (UK) www.orchids.uk.com, Akerne Orchids (Belgium) www.akerneorchids.com , Roellke Orchids (Germany) www.roellkeorchideen.de, Laneside Hardy Orchids (UK) www.lanesidehardyorchids.com, Laurence Hobbs Orchids (UK) www.laurencehobbsorchids.co.uk, Royden Orchids (UK), Assendorfer Orchideenzucht (Germany) www.asendorferorchideenzucht.com, Orchid Alchemy (UK) www.orchidalchemy.com and of course the Writhlington School Orchid Project
Look out too for Botanical Art, Real Escape Travel www.realescapetravel.co.uk and Jewellery too.
In contrast to yesterday’s miniature pleurothallis we have our largest cattleya species today and it dwarfs Gil and Issy.
This orchid is native to Brazil and can be found in Sao Paulo near the coast. It grows as an epiphyte with warm wetter summers and dryer winters. The plant does all its growing with us between April and September and we water and feed heavily during this period. For the rest of the year we keep the plant dryer but never let it shrivel.
It comes into flower in autumn and the blooms last 8 weeks. This species of Cattleya has longer bulbs than any of the other Cattleya’s that we have as the bulbs are over a meter long and the flowers extend by another 50cm. With two flower spikes each with twelve flowers this year, it makes a stately plant. This is the coerulea variety which has a more blue /purple lip and lighter petals than most clones but this photograph taken today makes the lip look a more normal pink colour. We grow this orchid in our Warm Americas section with a minimum of 15 degrees C.
Some of our orchids are not much bigger than the moss that grows around them and Pleurothallis linearifolia is a true miniature species native to Brazil and Northern Argentina where it grows in cloud forest. Leaves are only 1cm long but flowers are relatively large and bourn in profusion every autumn.
We find plants do well mounted or in pots and baskets but we need to ensure that plants are not smothered by moss as the species really enjoys cool, wet, shaded conditions which really suits moss!
Despite its tiny size the species grows relatively quickly and can be split to share this lovely plant around. The flowers are also sweetly scented.