Prosthechea venzuelana – 365 days of orchids – day 840

One of the more subtle species on our London display was this fragrant orchid.

This Prosthechea species native to Venezuela (as the name would suggest) as well as Colombia and Ecuador. It is reported to grow in wet lowland forests and so we are growing it in Warm Americas (Min 16C) at bench level where it will stay damper than plant hung high in the roof.

The flowers are large for the size of the plant and produced in profusion and as usual for the genus are beautifully scented. We are hoping to set seed this week and add this to our species in flask. The plant is a little spreading in its growth habit and so we have the plant in a basket to allow it to develop into a relaxed specimen.



Dendrobium lindleyi- 365 days of orchids – day 839

This stunning little dendrobium species was hanging above our laminar flow cabinet at London and thankfully made it back to the greenhouse in good condition.

Dendrobium lindleyi is a compact species that produces masses for relatively large flowers in early summer. This plant was deflasked in 2010 and produces a great display every year.

The species is found over a wide range from Assam through South East Asia and we have seen it growing in Loas near Luang Prabang near the Mekong river at around 700m growing in seasonally dry evergreen forest with the species most common in the lower branches of big semi-deciduous trees near the river.

Like other members of Dendobium section densiflorum (the species densiflorum, thyrsiflorum and Jenkinsii) we find the species does best with a warm wet summer in Warm Asia and then a dryish cooler winter and for Dendrobium lindleyi we find it enjoys the roof of our Cool Americas section.


Coelogyne velutina – 365 days of orchids – day 838


Here is another London favourite. Like yesterday’s Cymbidium devonianum, this Coelogyne species is very pendulous in its flowering making it a lovely thing to look at but a real challenge to get to shows in one piece.

Coelogyne velutina has a lot in common with other warm growing species with long pendulous flower stems such as Coelogyne tomentosa, Coelogyne pulverula and Coelogyne swaniana, but is very distinct in the colour of the flowers that turn from creamy-salmon to a deep salmon pink after opening. The Photograph below shows flowers that have been out for two weeks (pink) and two days (cream)

The flowers are relatively long lasting if kept dry and not bruised, and the species is very free flowering and so a dramiatic display is guaranteed. The plant here originally came from Burnham Nurseries and grows in bark compost in a large pot that we hang up at flowering time. We grow the plant in Warm Asia (min 17C) although it could grow a little cooler as the species is native to lower montane forests in Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia from 900-1950m. We find that the species enjoys plenty of water throughout the year.


Orchids of Turkey – Day 1

 Ophrys lyciensis

This Easter we are in South West Turkey for a relaxing holiday after a busy term – a holiday that may include some of the regions wonderful orchid species. I will keep you posted on what we find.

Today has been a relaxing day around Dalyan which included a walk to the site of the ancient city of Caunos. Along the way we found Ophrys lyciensis (above) an orchid endemic to this area (which was ancient Lycia, so it is a great name). This is similar to our British Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) but is a different shape and has different patterning.

We also found Ophrys lutea, a widespread species we have seen in Crete.

Another spectacular find was this tortoise amongst the spring flowers.