Grammatophyllum scriptum – 365 days of orchids – day 973

In Sarawak we saw Grammatophyllum speciosum growing in Mulu National Park and this related species is also found in Sarawak.

Grammatophyllum scriptum is a large growing species with a wide natural range including Borneo, the Lesser Sunda Islands, the Moluccas, The Philippines, Sulawesi, the Solomon Islands, the Bismark Archipelago, Papua and New Guinea, Fiji and Santa Cruz Islands. The species is restricted to areas near the coast up to 100m and so enjoys a hot climate and bright light.

We do our best to replicate the natural habitat by growing plants high in Warm Asia (Min 17C) but the species would enjoy higher temperatures and we keep plants drying in the winter to avoid damage on cooler nights.

The flower spike this year is well over 1m long with around 150 flowers each 4cm across and it makes a terrific sight.


Masdevallia pachyura – 365 days of orchids – day 972


Another species that is enjoying the wet summer and flowering more than usual is this small growing species.

Masdevallia pachyura is a multi-flowered species found in cloud forests from 1000 to 3000m in Ecuador and Peru. As could be expected from its range it is a variable species but all have pretty little flowers and in our experience the species is straight forward in cultivation and multiplies relatively quickly.

This variety is named ‘caudas orange’ and is from the Ecuagenera nursery in Ecuador and the deep orange lip contrasts beautifully with the yellow tails on the sepals.

The species does well in pots and baskets and we keep it watered well throughout the year in Cool Americas.


Schoenorchis juncifolia – 365 days of orchids – day 971


We have another of our Borneo species today with this pendulous species with unusual purply pink flowers.

This pretty orchid flowers several times each year from its long pendulous stems but saves its main flowering for August. The species is native to Java and Borneo and in the wild it is found at around 1000m altitude. We find that the species is tolerates a wide range of temperatures and it grows well both in Cool Americas (minimum 12C) or in Warm Asia (minimum 16C).

We grow plants in baskets and let the stems hang downwards. Plants seem to enjoy regular watering and we spray them daily.

Schoenorchis is an interesting genus related to Vanda that includes some very small species such as Scoenorchis fragrans as well as large growing plants such as todays orchid of the day.


Restrepia contorta – 365 days of orchids – day 970

Another rainy morning in Radstock today, and of course it is wet season in the greenhouse as well, reflecting the seasonal summer rains experienced by most tropical habitats. Some plants enjoy life really wet and restrepias certainly enjoy a wet summer. Our restrepias are looking magnificent at the moment and Restrepia contorta stands out with a heavy flower count for the size of plants.

This species is native to South America from Venezuela to Peru growing in cloud forests from 1300 to 3200m altitude.

It produces wider but shorter flowers than many restrepia species and like many species is very variable in colours and spots.

This plant seems particularly keen on growing in a small basket where it is kept damp throughout the year and over time can form a neat ball covered in flowers. As you can see from the photo this clone is unusual in that it produces two flowers at a time from each leaf and the paired flowers look particularly striking.