Apologies for the late orchid of the day today – still recovering from set up at Malvern – Here is a lovely bright flower for a cloudy day.
Dendrobium moschatum is a warm growing dendrobium speices from the Himalayas through to South east Asia. We have seen plants growing in the hot valleys of Sikkim where we found it growing high in semi-deciduous trees. We also found it in the Lao city of Luang Prabang where it was abundant in trees along the river Mekong.
The species has vary variable flowers both in colour and shape. The Sikkim plants had very large yellow flowers while in Luang Prabang the flowers were smaller but pink. Our plants have bright orange flowers and the cupped lip characteristic of the species.
We grow plants in baskets hung high in Warm Asia during the summer but moved to the cooler conditions of Cool Americas during the winter to stimulate flowering.
One of our favourite shows each year is the Malvern International Orchid Show at the Three Counties Show. Yesterday evening the set up team worked late into a wet night to get the bones of the display together and today it has been finished off (in more rain)
Late this morning
Do come and visit us on the stand but remember your wellington boots!
More from the show all this weekend.
Last time we posted the Brazilian national flower, Cattleya purpurata, we mentioned that it is wonderfully variable. The variety ‘venosa’ describes a range of plants with deeper pink flowers than are usually found.
We divided our plant of Cattleya purpurata ‘venosa’ two years ago and it is now well established and flowering well in a large basket hung in the roof of Warm Americas. Flowers are long lasting and held on strong spikes held clear of the long leave. We particularly enjoy getting a ‘bee’s eye view’ looking straight into the lip with its radial stripes leading us to the nectar.
Here is a reminder of the ‘carnea’ form
Cattleya purpurata is found as an epiphyte in open forest up to around 1000m where it experiences a warm wet summer and a cool dryer winter. With us it reliably flowers in between May and July.
June is the month to see native Bristish orchids at their peak and around us the most abundant is Dactylorhiza fuchsii or the Common Spotted Orchid. Our seed grown plants in the Temperate section of the greenhouse are now in full flower (a week later than most years reflecting the cool start to the summer) and are magnificent.
We have two of our seed raised clones in flower at the moment, the light clone above and the dark clone below, which shows the fantastic diversity in the species.
We grow plants in large pots of soil based compost in our temperate section and the seed is from the Mendips where the species is common in old quarries such as Asham Quarry where it prefers the poor soils in the old quarry workings and scraped areas.
It is also common in remaining low nutrient unimproved limestone Mendip meadows and the nearby chalk downs of Wiltshire. It is even growing in the school car park where it grows in subsoil between the rows of cars.
This seems to be the week of scented orchids and we have another scented species today.
This rewarding little species is found across South America where it grows both in hot lowland forest and cooler montane forest up to 1800m. The plant shown here grows in our Cool Americas section where if produces strong plants with masses of flowers in the summer.
This Maxillaria species has flowers with long curling petals and a strong pleasant fragrance. The flowers are produced in profusion from last year’s pseudobulb each on individual stems.