365 days of orchids – day 311 – Cymbidium dayanum


Cymbidium dayanum is a very graceful warm growing Cymbidium native to lowland forests from Sikkim in the west to Japan in the east and south through South East Asia to the Philippines and Malaysia. Plants are reported to grow low down on trunks in evergreen forests where conditions will be shaded and humid. Compared to most other warm growing Cymbidium species C. dayanum has thin and delicate leaves reflecting the habitat it has evolved to suit. Most warm growing cymbidiums have heavy thick leaves and are adapted to cope with dryer conditions and this difference needs to be noted in Cymbidium dayanum care. We grow plants in constant shade in our Warm Asia section and keep plants watered throughout the year. Plants respond by flowering profusely as shown in the photographs and the flowers are long lasting and fragrant.

The flower spikes are sharply pendulous and so we move plants onto a shelf once buds begin to burst.


Orchids that flower twice a year

 Tricholglottis pusilla today

 March 20th (Day 79)

One of the really useful things to come out of our 365 days of orchids is producing an accurate record of flowering times and those wonderful orchid species that flower more than one each year. A great example is Trichoglottis pussila (above) that featured in March during its spring flowering and is in flower again today during its autumn flowering.


365 days of orchids – day 310 – Aerangis biloba


This is the eighth Aerangis species to appear in 365 days and is the one we find the easiest to succeed with. It is a species from Central and West Africa where it grows in deep shade in woodland up to 700m altitude. The large leaves are a deep green again indicating a plant that enjoys low light levels. The name refers to the unequally bilobed leaves ( a character it actually shares with many Aerangis species).

We grow the species warm, shaded and watered throughout the year. We grow the species mounted to show off the pendulous flowers and to allow the extensive roots to hang freely. We know others who succeed with the species in pots but we find that it can suffer from rots on a crowded bench.

The flowers are a sparkling white and although they have relatively short spurs (just 3-4cm) plants are very free flowering. We find that this species is easy to grow from seed and de-flasks well straight onto mounts. It has flowered for us just two years from de-flasking and even produces the occasional kiki (little plant) from its roots.



365 days of orchids – day 309 – Oncidium longipes

Tonight is firework night so a small oncidium exploding with flowers seems very appropriate. Oncidium longipes is a Brazilian species and we saw it growing in the forests around Macae de Cima in our school visits to Brazil in 2000 and 2006. It is restricted to primary forests and grows in the mid canopy amongst other epiphytes in dappled shade and high humidity.

We find the species really prefers to be mounted where it responds by clothing the mount in growths that burst into flower in the Autumn. Flower spikes usually produce between one and three flowers but they are large for the size of the plant as seen here.

We have grown our plants from flask (they flower two years out of flask) and they show considerable variation in colour and patterning.