One of the great things of posting our orchids every day is that we can spot changes in flowering times and identify the plants that flower several times a year. This species last flowered in September for the Bristol University Pollination day. There are many of our cooler growing species that flower both in the Autumn and the Spring and we have observed this in the wild too. We have visited the Mata Atlantica, Barazil, in April and in October and both times we found lots of Cattleya coccinea flowering.
Back to today’s orchid, this is one of our smaller Dendrochilum species and in common with most of the genus it produces a pendant spike of delicate little fragrant flowers.
The species is native to the Philippines where it grows from 660-2250m altitude. We find that our plant does best cool and damp in our Cool Americas section (yes we know the Philippines isn’t in the Americas) as it enjoys the conditions we provide for our Masdevallias.
I hope that everyone survived Storm Ciara. The school greenhouse was unscathed but some damage was done to the school roof and so staff and students are at home this morning. It is therefore a perfect time to post my most consistent and spectacular windowsill orchid.
This plant of Dendrobium amethystaglossa has been growing on my East facing kitchen window for several years and this year has seven flower sprays each with between twenty and thirty beautiful purple and white flowers. This lovely orchid is native to the Philippines where it is reported as growing on mossy limestone cliffs at an altitude of 1400m.
It grows strong vertical canes that in a mature plant can reach 1m in height (our longest are 80cm so far), the flowers are produced in pendulous sprays from older pseudobulbs and mature bulbs produce flowers over several years.
The downwards pointing flowers presenting clear of the pseudobulbs and the lack of scent suggest that the flowers are pollinated by birds.
At school we grow this species in our Warm Asia section but as shown here it does make a wonderful house plant. On its windowsill it is watered twice a week throughout the year. The natural habitat does not experience a significant dry season.
It flowers reliably in early spring, when flowers are so valued in the house, and the flowers last over a month.
More of our Australian species are coming into flower in our Cool Asia Section and today we will feature Dendrobium suffusum which is actually a natural hybrid. This is one of the prettiest and most floriferous of our cool growing dendrobiums that also benefits from having a lovely sweet scent.
The parents are Dendrobium kingianum and Dendrobium gracilicaule and it is a medium sized plant that grows into a specimen quite quickly. Pseudobulbs up to 40cm high carry spays of many 1cm flowers with a lovely fragrance. In the past this clone ‘Writhlington’ has won two Certificates of cultural Commendation from the RHS.
At school this species grows in Cool Asia(min.10C) with good light with lots of water in the summer, but with less water in the winter.
Our Pholidota chinensis is looking amazing this week.
This lovely free flowering orchid is native to warm forests in Southern China and Vietnam where it experience a wet summer monsoon and a cooler dryer winter when it flowers.
We find it enjoys warm temperatures in Warm Asia and although we grow it in a basket to show off the lovely pendulous flowers we work hard to keep it well watered in the growing season from March until September. Flowers are produced from the centre of new growths every spring.
We have two clones of this species which are very different in growth form with this clone having longer bulbs and longer flower spikes. The flowers however are very similar.
This delightful little dendrobium is another of our reliable early spring flowerer.
Dendrobium malvicolor is a small growing species is endemic to Sumatra where it grows from 1550 to 3050m. Plants have small dark pseudobulbs which are thin at the base and thicker near the end where they flower.
We grow the species in our Warm Asia section but in light of the high altitude it would be happy a little cooler.
We have nearly fifty dendrobium species in our collection and this wonderful diverse genus includes many of our most flamboyant orchids as well as delicate species like this one. Walking around the greenhouses today we identified several dendrobiums in bud that will flower for our many shows this spring so look out for some lovely species over the next few weeks.