28th November – An evening with Simon Pugh-Jones

As part of the Writhlington School Lecture Series we have a scientific evening for the public centred on the orchid project (see poster) The evening kicks off at 6pm with a lecture in the Mendip Building followed by opportunities to explore the laboratory techniques underpinning the project and the conservation lessons learnt over the past twenty years or so. E-mail Emma Pascoe at [email protected] to reserve your free tickets.


365 days of orchids – day 316 – Trisetella scobina


At time of year we find several Trisetella species coming into flower. All of them a re miniatures and all spectacular in different ways.

Trisetella scobina is a tiny plant with leaves just 15mm long that over time form a a little clump on the cork mount. Each autumn the clump produces long thin flower spikes that produce very large (in comparison) flowers dominated by a deep red synsepal and long yellow tails. The flower spikes will produce several flowers successively over a long period so don’t cut them off until they are old and dead.

This species is a cloud forest endemic found in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia from in forests up to 2000m. We only grow the species mounted because of its size but find it a relatively straight forward species if kept well watered and shaded.


World Orchid Conference – Part 1

As Simon said last week, I have travelled to Ecuador to attend and speak at the 22nd World Orchid Conference. Tuesday was the first full day of the conference, which was full of interesting speakers. I spent the day looking around the conference’s displays and the plants on show, including a display of wonderful Phalaenopsis hybrids.

Thursday was spent visiting Ecuagenera’s nursery here in Guayaquil, a place in many ways is an orchid growers paradise, acres of growing space all full of many different species from all around the world, mostly from South America. At the moment their Cattleya Maxima are in flower including hundreds of ‘Coerulea’ forms, which made for quite a spectacular sight. The conference has now ended, but the show is still on tomorrow so I will endeavour to photograph as many of the species and hybrids on display.




365 days of orchids – day 315 – Pholidota pallida


Pholidotas pallida is native to the eastern Himalayas and South East Asia. In Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Laos we have found Philodota species to be amongst the most abundant orchids present in trees along roads in a band from 500m to 1500m although these species are not well represented in collections as some of them can be rather untidy.

Pholidota pallens is not one of the untidy ones, ir is a relatively compact plant with attractive grey green pseudobulbs and long flower spikes with small but intriguing flowers that spiral around the spike.

The species is reported from 1000m altitude up to 2300m but we find it enjoys growing with a little more heat than this would suggest in our Warm Asia section