Pholidota pallida – 365 days of orchids – day 1091


In our Christmas themed orchids we have yet to include an orchid that mimics falling snow! Perhaps this is it?

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. However, these species are not well represented in collections as some of them can be rather untidy.

Pholidota pallida is not one of the untidy ones, it is a relatively compact plant with attractive grey green pseudobulbs and long flower spikes with small but intriguing flowers that spiral around the spike like little white snowballs.

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


Nose flute orchestra live on BBC Somerset tomorrow morning

The news is spreading of our fantastic Penan Nose Flute orchestra – we will be playing live on the radio (BBC Somerset) tomorrow morning at around 10.45am. We will also be telling the story of our work in Sarawak and inspiration from the Penan Tribe. …And of course we will be live at Orchid Christmas this Saturday.


Coelia Bella – 365 days of orchids – day 1090

With its very strong perfume of Marzipan this is definitely a ‘Christmas Orchid’. The colours aren’t traditionally festive, but close your eyes and you are in the middle of a sweet Christmas delight – perhaps we should guard this plant as it smells as if it could be Stollen!!!! (sorry that is an awful pun)

This unusual flower with bright pink sepal tips and a contrasting yellow lip is a fragrant addition to the greenhouse in winter. It has possibly the prettiest buds of any orchid species we grow.

This species is a terrestrial from Central America where it is found from 500-1500m in open forests. We find that the species prefers to grow cool (we grow it in Coll Americas min 12C) and can suffer with black areas on the leaves if exposed to too much sun or heat stress. Although we will try an fins a warm spot for it on Saturday so that its scent is on full power at Orchid Christmas.

On the Christmassy orchid theme, here are the Maxillaria sophronitis plans ready for sale on Saturday – don’t they look festive?