365 days of orchids – day 585 – Phalaenopsis mariae

We find this species one of the most floriferous of the Phalaenopsis species with clusters of perfumed flowers produced all at once on flower spikes that persist and re-flower for several years (don’t cut off the flower spikes of this species when the flowers drop).

Phalaenopsis mariae is native to the Philippines and Borneo where it grows as an epiphyte in warm forest in shade. During the summer it produces pendulous flower spikes.

We grow the species in our Warm Asia section (min 17C) but it would appreciate growing a little warmer.


365 days of orchids – day 584 – Angraecum magdalenae

This species from the mountains of central Madagascar is one of our most rewarding orchid species. The large (8cm) waxy, pristine white flowers are wonderfully fragrant and currently fill its section with their intoxicating scent.

The plant’s natural habitat is in leaf litter amongst quartzite boulders but we find the species enjoys a mossy basket where its roots remain damp and cool. Most of our Angraecum species are warm growing but Angraecum magdalenae does best for us in Cool Asia (minimum 10C) where it is slowly growing into a real specimen with flowers which contrast beautifully with the dark green leaves.

We have germinated seed from last year’s flowering and hope to have plants for sale in flask within 18 months. The flowers hold their nectar in long curved spurs suggesting pollination is by one of Madagascar’s large hawk moths.


365 days of orchids – day 583 – Masdevallia oreas

Masdevallia oreas is a endemic to cloud forests of Bolivia and one of the smallest masdevallias we grow. The plant shown is in a 3cm pot with 4cm leaves and 5cm flower spikes. The flowers are large for the plant and long lasting.

We grow the species both mounted and in small pots and it seems very happy both ways in a shady spot in our Cool Americas section.


Leif Bersweden to lecture at the British Orchid Show and Congress – Writhlington 3rd November

We are delighted that amongst our speakers at the British Orchid Show in November we have Leif Bersweden from Kew who is a leading member of the young generation of scientists passionate to plants back on the map. He is best known for his acclaimed book ‘The Orchid Hunter: a young botanists search for happiness’

Leif’s PhD focusses on four orchid species, Lady Orchid, Man Orchid, Monkey Orchid and Military Orchid and the hybrids common between them. As part of the Science symposium (on Saturday 3rd November) Leif will be sharing what he has discovered through hid DNA analysis. We can’t wait.

The Science Symposium lectures are open to all registrants at the show as well as those who just register for the Saturday Science Symposium. (all registrations through ) Public visitors to the show on Saturday will be able to upgrade their show entry to symposium access for an extra £5 on the day.


365 days of orchids – day 582 – Macroclinium chasei

This tiny miniature is a warm growing member of the Oncidium family. It is native to Peru and Bolivia where it is found as a twig epiphyte in forest from 200-800m.

The plant forms a small fan of leaves only 2cm across and then produces a long pendulous flower spike that ends with a bunch of around 8-12 1cm flowers. A very dramatic little species.

The plants shown are now 30 months out of flask. We purchased a bag of seedlings from Peruflora at the 2016 London Orchid Show and mounted the seedlings on small pieces of cork. We currently have three of these perfect little miniatures flowering or in spike all hanging in a on a shaded mesh in Warm Asia where they are sprayed once a day.



We have looked into the pollination biology of the species and found reports that Macroclinium species are pollinated by Euglossine bees like Gongoras (these are the perfume gathering bees of the tropical Americas) We  are still trying to pollinate these flowers to produce some seed to sow and have flowering within three years.