Cymbidium devonianum – 365 days of orchids – day 837

Another plant that was very admired at London was this gorgeous Cymbidium species.

Cymbidium devonianum is a beautiful smaller growing species with wide leathery leaves and pendulous spikes of densely packed spikes of green and pink flowers.

In Sikkim we have found this species growing in heavy shade, low in trees and usually in pockets of detritus and dead leaves that keeps the plant damp through the dry season.

In cultivation we replicate the cool, wet shady conditions it enjoys and too much light or too little water results in brown tips to the thick leaves. We grow plants in baskets to allow the pendulous flower spikes to emerge and not become trapped in the bottom of a pot.



Calanthe vestita – 365 days of orchids – day 836

We had two clones on Calanthe vestita on our London Display. This species is a terrestrial found across South East Asia, form sea level up to 1000m, and requires a really dry winter rest after the leaves have turned brown and dropped. We put plants up on the electrical control box in the classroom section to make sure it is not watered by mistake.

The species was loved by the Victorians as it flowered with no leaves and so was tolerant of being brought into dry conditions in the parlour.

We grow plants in pots and repot every year as new growth commences though we are careful not to water too heavily until plants new growths are well established. We have found the species easy to raise from seed.


Thanks for most successful London Show ever

Here is a photograph taken on Wednesday of our London Show Dusplay from the balcony above. The plants are now all safely back at school and happy after a good soaking with rain water.

i am really proud of the student and adult team that put together our most successful London Show ever. I have had hundreds of people asking me to pass on congratulations to the amazing orchid project students, both those who worked so hard at the show and those who worked so hard at school to grow such great plants  and prepare for the show.

Our next event is the Devon Orchid Show in Budleigh Salterton on May the 4th (Star Wars Day) we hope to see you their.


Cochlioda noezliana – 365 days of orchids – day 835

Another London Show star is this astonishing species that is possibly the brightest orchid species we grow.

Cochlioda noezliana a startling scarlet species from the cloud forests of Colombia that has been a major influence on orchid breeding since its discovery. It is the orchid species behind the red in many of the red orchids hybrids sold around the world today in the Oncidineae subtribe.

The glowing colour is there to attract humming birds and we displayed it at the show alongside yesterdays humming bird pollinated Masdevallia veitchiana. The other lovely pollination feature here is the two yellow beak guides on the lip to help the pollinating bird find the nectar.

This species has a reputation as not the easiest to grow but we find it straight forward if you stick to the cool moist conditions of its cloud forest home (our cool Americas section) and display plant has five spikes in flower and another three spikes coming.


Orchid Project to the rescue

Orchid Project students have been doing their best to help other exhibitors this week, especially Frank Roellke who was taken ill and had to rush back to Germany leaving his display and sales plants behind.

Chloe, Matty, Jacob and Zoe (with help from younger students too) stepped in and did a great job running Frank’s stand. As Chloe said, “It was brilliant being able to help out.” Here’s wishing Frank a speedy recovery.