365 days of orchids – day 197 – Bulbophyllum affine

This is another species found in the Sikkim Himalaya. It’s range extends right through South East Asia and Southern China to Taiwan. It grows as an epiphyte or lithophyte from 100 to 1800m where it clambers across trunks or rocks in shaded forest.

The single flowers have prominent red stripes that give the species its common name in China – the striped star orchid.

This plant seems to grow equally well in Warm Asia or Cool Americas where we grow it mounted to accommodate its long rhizome.


365 days of orchids – day 196 – Masdevallia don-quijote

This species is quite a small plant but has very large flowers on long stems. It is rather whimsically named after the character Don Quixote in the novel by Miguel de Cervantes because the lateral sepal looks  like a lance and the lateral sepals like the bow legs of the old knight. (Quijote is the Spanish spelling)

The species is endemic to Ecuador where it is found between 1000 and 1700m in damp forest. Flower stems produce a succession of flowers over a long period so don’t cut stems until they finally turn brown.



365 days of orchids – day 195 – Gongora galeata

Our most floriferous Gongora species is galeata. This species is native to wet montane and cloud forests in Mexico from 600 to 1800m.

Like all our Gongora species we grow the plant in a basket to allow for its pendulous flower spikes and keep the plant damp all year round but wetter in the summer.

Keeping hanging baskets damp can be difficult as it involves watering upwards and so we keep our Gongoras on benches except when flower spikes are spotted and then they are hung from the roof.


Last day at Eden

Today was our last day working at the Eden Project this week. We spent the morning in Eden’s nursery helping Nicki to re-pot some Moringas and some Bromeliads. We then went down to the tropical biome to plant some Coelogynes in hanging baskets for the Malaysian house there. We have had a great week working with the Eden team and seeing behind the scenes of the project and would love to return in the future. 


365 days of orchids – day 194 – Cleisostoma arietinum

This is the ‘bent’ cleisostoma referring to the curved terete leaves. It is a warm growing species from South East Asia, India and Malaysia where it grows pendulously. We have seen related species growing in Arunachal Pradesh, North East India, and in Laos, amongst a mass of orchids (Dendrobiums, Pholidotas, Erias and others) on the lower branches of semi-deciduous trees along rivers and in open forest.

We find Cleisostomas work well mounted where their attractive growth habits can bee enjoyed and the plants are able to dry out well between waterings.