Have Phyto will travel

Yesterday we had our visit from Christopher from APHA (Animal and Plant Health Authority) and we now have a lovely phytosanitary certificate and export certificate to allow us to take our seedlings with us to Kuching tomorrow. Well done Tallis and Chloe for sorting out the plants. We only ever take plants in-vitro and these will be our training material next week.


Cymbidium erythrostylum – 365 days of orchids – day 939

As we prepare to head for Sarawak our thoughts we wonder what orchid will be flowering in Borneo in July,. Fortunately the orchid family can be relied upon to provide flowers throughout the year as shown by 365 days of orchids. Most of our cymbidium species flower in the autumn and spring but there are summer flowering species too and this species flowers from July until September.

This small growing cymbidium is native to Vietnam where it grows in cool forests at around 1500m. We find this species very straight forward and reliable with the advantage of flowering relatively quickly from seed. The plant shown in the photograph flowered three years out of flask and is now carrying a seed pod for the next generation. It also won best Cymbidium at our recent Orchid Festival.

The species is quite variable in the size of the flower and the colour of the lip striping which varies from deep red to scarlet/orange. The white of the flowers is very white and always attracts attention.



Adononcos major – 365 days of orchids – day 936

This is another species found in Sarawak and an orchid with a wonderfully ridiculous name meaning the large adenoncos when the plant is a tiny minature. The whole plant is about 4cm tall and the flower is about 5mm across – which actually is large for an adenoncos species.

The species is found in warm forests from 300-600m altitude in Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo and in our experience enjoys a shaded habitat. We grow plants mounted where the tiny plants make extensive root systems.

The species flowers irregularly throughout the year and is a real point of interest when in flower – especially with its silly name 🙂


Rhychostylis retusa – 365 days of orchids – day 935

Today we have another species that is native to Borneo and one we may find in next week in Sarawak, Rhychostylis retusa, also known as the foxtail orchid.

The species actually has a very wide distribution from India through South East Asia to Malaysia and the Philippines and we have seen on semi-deciduous trees in the warm valleys of Sikkim up to around 1000m.. In its Sikkim habitat it experiences warm dry winters and hot wet summers and so we water the plant heavily in summer and just keep it from shrivelling in the winter. The plant is very happy in a basket in our Warm Asia section.

We are pleased that this year it has two spikes (it had one last year) and as this seedling plant starts to mature we look forward to multiple spikes and eventually the really impressive display the species is capable of.


Bulbophyllum purpurascens – 365 days of orchids – day 934

Next week we will be in the forests of Sarawak amongst orchids like this lovely little Bulbophyllum. The bulbs are around 1cm tall with 4cm leaves and the relatively large flowers form a mass just clear of the leaves.

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.