365 days of orchids – day 321 – Trisetella heoijeri

The third of our Trisetella species is a really tiny miniature. The leaves are 8mm long and the tiny roots spread no further than 10mm from the plant. The flowers however are gigantic at nearly 4cm across.

The species is native to cloud forests in southern Ecuador at around 1800m altitude where it grows in moss and shade on trunks and lower branches.

We grow the species mounted and do not add moss when mounting as we find that moss can out compete the tiny plant. We then grow plants in deep shade and water daily.

We find that plants benefit from splitting before they get too large and start to go down hill when leaves start to die off and drop.

Another plant in flower at the moment is shown below. The moss grows naturally on the bark when we keep plants damp and shaded, we do not add the moss when mounting.


365 days of orchids – day 320 – Cattleya pumila

This is a small growing but large flowered species from Brazil that always gets a lot of attention when on one of our displays. It is native to humid coastal forests in the Mata Atlantica, Eastern Brazil. The species grows as an epiphyte from 600m-1300m altitude which suggests it can cope with wide range of temperatures but we find it does best in our Cool Americas section (Min 12C)

The plant shown has been grown from seed and has taken twelve years to reach its current size and this is the first time it has produced three flowers.

As you can see we grow the species mounted. We have also grown plants in pots but find the mounted plants do better for us as we can water heavily without plants becoming waterlogged.

The flowers are long lasting and sweetly fragrant – one of our favourite species.



Change of date. An evening with Simon Pugh-Jones – Orchid Project is now 23rd November 6-8pm

Correct poster above – sorry for sending out the wrong one last week. This is the first in a series of regular public lectures at Writhlington/Mendip Studio School.

We are all set with a brief history of the key events in the development of the orchid project along with opportunities to get involved in a range of workshops about our work in horticulture, conservation and science.


365 days of orchids – day 319 – Cymbidium cochleare

This is the fourteenth Cymbidium species to feature on 365 days and one of the most unusual. Again it is a species we have seen in Sikkim and in the wild or cultivation it is instantly recognisable from its very thin pendulous flower spikes with glossy pendulous flowers that smell of jasmine.


We have two spikes on our plant this year, each with twelve flowers. The plant is a delicate cymbidium with fine dark green leaves and this species really needs to be in a basket to allow for the flower habit.

The species is found across the eastern Himalayas from Sikkim to Thailand and inhabits cool wet monsoon forests. We water the plant well to avoid drying in the summer especially as it is in a basket.


365 days of orchids – day 318 – Trisetella cordeliae

To follow Trisetella scobina we have Trisitella cordeliae which is even smaller both in terms of its leaves – just 10mm long and much shorter spikes with small (but relatively large) attractive hairy pink flowers. Like T. scobina, the flower spikes produce a succession of flowers over a long period.

The species is endemic to Peruvian cloud forests and we treat it the same as other Trisetella – cool, damp and shaded.