365 days of orchids – day 514 – Dendrobium lindleyi

Dendrobium lindleyi is a compact dendrobium 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.




365 days of orchids – day 513 – Bulbophyllum purpurascens

This pretty little bulbophyllum has an unlikely name meaning the purple bulbophyllum but this refers to the purplish colour of the leaves not the light yellow flowers!

The species is native to Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia where it grows as an epiphyte in evergreen montane forest from around 900-1700 m and we find it does best mounted or in baskets in our Warm Asia section.

We have seen photographs of impressive specimen plants but our small plants have a way to go yet.


365 days of orchids – day 512 – Cleisocentrum merrillium

This remarkable orchid is endemic to Mount Kinabalu where it grows in wet evergreen forest above 1000m. The species has striking greyish, blue flowers with a purple anther cap and field observations show that the flowers are ant pollinated which explained the clustered flowers on very short spikes.

We grow the species in small baskets from which the plants grow in a relaxed upright fashion. Plants seem very at home in our warm asia section with a minimum of 17C in some shade amongst other species native to the amazing forests of Kinabalu.




365 days of orchids – day 511 – Cattleya lobata ‘coerulea’ (Laelia lobata)

This beautiful orchid is endemic to Brazil where it has a very restricted range south of Rio de Janeiro growing on exposed rocks near the sea where they grow exposed to sun, spray and anything the Brazilian weather an throw at them.

The species has a reputation for being a shy bloomer but the secret is to remember the natural habitat and to give plants lot of light and summer sun. We grow the species in Baskets hanging high in our Warm Americas section where we give plants plenty of water but free draining compost as we have found that roots rot quickly if the compost breaks down and goes soggy.

This coerulea variety is one of the nicest ‘blue cattleyas’ we have come across – it is much bluer in reality than this picture shows.

Like its close relatives Cattleya crispa and Cattleya purpurata, Cattleya lobata has spent most of its time since first description as Laelia lobata although it has little in common with the true laelias of Central America (such as Laelia anceps) We are very happy with it being a Cattleya in our collection.



365 days of orchids – day 510 – Trichoglottis rosea

This species is native to the Phillipines and Taiwan where it grows in lowland forest. It has long lasting waxy flowers that appear along the stem at the leaf axils. The plant seems to prefer to grow pendulously and so we grow it both mounted and in baskets. Jess also grows it very successfully as a house plant and she has it flowering this week too.

This is a piece from a wonderful specimen displayed by Chantelle orchids at the European Orchid Congress in London in 2015 where it won best specimen plant. It comes from warm forest but we find it prefers life in Cool Americas (min 12C) where it is cool wet and humid.