Judging classes for the British orchid Show – Nov 2nd-4th 2018

Do you have the plants that will win the awards at this years British orchid Show? Our Dendrochilum cobbianum shown above was winner of the Best Species and Best in Show at the last British orchid Congress (Norwich 2016). It is looking even better in the school greenhouse this year BUT it is not going to win again as it will be staying in the greenhouse for visitors to admire and see how we grow our orchids.

The full judging schedule for the show is shown below and all plants displayed at the show will be eligible. If you have a plant you would like to bring along to show and you are not a member of an orchid society displaying at the event we will have a table available for individuals entries.

Paphiopedilum species
Paphiopedilum Hybrid
Phragmipedium species
Phragmipedium Hybrid
Dendrobiinae species
Dendrobiinae Hybrid
Laeliinae species
Laeliinae Hybrid.
Lycastinae & Maxillariinae species
Lycastinae & Maxillariinae Hybrid
Oncidiinae species
Oncidiinae Hybrid
Pleurothallidinae species or hybrid (excluding Masdevallia)
Masdevallia Species
Masdevallia Hybrid
Vandeae species (not including Phalaenopsis)
Vandeae Hybrid (not including Phalaenopsis)
Phalaenopsis species
Phalaenopsis hybrid
Cymbidineae species
Cymbidineae hybrid
Coelogyneae species or hybrid
Bulbophyllum species or hybrid
Any other species (excluding hardy orchids)
Any other Hybrid (excluding hardy orchids)
Any hardy orchid
Grand Champion species
Grand Champion Hybrid
Grand Champion Plant in Show
Best display staged by an individual amateur or amateur Society
Best display staged by a professional orchid grower
Best Scientific Display
Best Photographic Display

Each plant class will have a first and a second. There will be reserve champions and commended displays in both Amateur and Trade classes.

All classes will win a take home trophy and all awarded plants will receive rosettes.

Set up must be completed by 4.30pm on Friday 2nd November and judging takes place from 8-10am on Saturday 3rd November. A reminder to those staging plants is that anyone who is not a registrant will need to purchase a preview evening ticket to take part in the Friday Preview evening from 6-9pm.


365 days of orchids – day 649 – Stelis hallii

We are delighted to have several stelis species coming into flower just in time for the British Orchid Show. These plants have small flowers but many species have a really big impact due to the number of flowers even small plants produce.

This relatively large flowered stelis species is found in cool mossy forests in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru as an epiphyte or lithophyte from 1200 to 3000m altitude.

This is the fifteenth stelis species we have included in 365 days reflecting both the diversity of the genusĀ (there are around 500 stelis species) and the large number of species we grow at Writhlington. We first met the genus in the cloud forests around Macae de Cima in Brazil and ever since we have been to show what rewarding and interesting plants these are.


Original glass trophies for all best in class orchids at the British Orchid Show (2-4th November)

Students are busy at school designing and making the trophies for November’s show (if you don’t know all about it already check the latest news here) For the first time all best in class winners will win a trophy made of blue sparkly glass and laser etched using the school laser cutter.

There will be also be large glass trophies for the major awards – Best Species, Best Hybrid, Best Society Display, Best Trade display and Best scientific display – and again these will be designed and made by students using the school laser cutter. We will announce all the judging classes here tomorrow.




365 days of orchids – day 648 – Masdevallia ivanii

Continuing our Masdevallia theme we have Masdevallia ivanii. This species was first decribed in 2006 and is a small growing Masdevallia from Ecuador with large long lasting flowers for the size of the plant (the leaves in the photo are just 4cm long)

It is found at around 1500m and so is cool growing but not excessively so. It seems to do well with a minimum of 12C but we have found that it really enjoys shade and heavy watering and we have noticed a real improvement in growth since the layer of natural moss has formed on the bark compost.



Richard Laurence to start Sunday’s lectures at the British Orchid Show and Congress with British Natives

Sunday at the British Orchid Show and Congress includes our Hardy Orchid Day with some fascinating talks about British and European orchids, finding them to photograph, growing hardy orchids, reintroduction programmes and propagation.

Richard Laurence who has spent much of his life photographing British Orchids will be starting the days lecture programme with a talk about UK Orchids with his fantastic photographs such as the Early Spider Orchid (Ophrys sphegodes) above. Richard who has been a long term friend and supporter of the Orchid Project will be including many of the beautiful variations he has recorded in UK populations such as the dark petalled forms of the Early Spider Orchid shown below.

Anyone interested in the Hardy Orchid Day lectures can buy a ticket here which also gives access to all of the other sections of Sunday’s Show, or look at other registration options. Full registrants will automatically have access to the Hardy Orchid Day Lectures.