365 days of orchids – day 226 – Dendrobium harveyanum

This wonderful dendrobium is native to Southern China and South East Asia where it grows as an epiphyte at around 1100-1700m in seasonally dry forest. It is semi deciduous and flowers from new and old pseudobulbs together in a fantastic display of its intricate flowers with long filamented edges to the lip and petals. The flowers are produced in sprays similar to the closely related Dendrobium fimbriatum.

Books recommend a cool winter rest for the species but we find that our plant (shown here) comes into growth very late in the year (September to October) and then grows during the winter so we move the plant into Warm Asia (min 18C) when in growth and only move it to Cool Asia for a rest when the growths are fully mature (around February) the cool rest then initiates an abundant summer flowering and this year our plant has fifteen sprays which will flower over the next few weeks.

When we have kept the plant in Warm Asia throughout the year the flowering has been rather sparse in comparison.

We find the plant enjoys growing in a basket and with its extensive rooting we drop the basket into a bigger one when needed rather than causing lots of disturbance to the roots.

The flowers are sweetly fragrant.


Posting an orchid species in flower every day of the year (365 days)

Visitors new to our website will have noticed our feature – 365 days of orchids. At he start of 2017 we set ourselves the challenge of photographing and writing a post every day of the year with a different orchid species. With over 1000 orchid species in our collection we were sure it was possible although there may be some challenging months with not so much in flower – and the rule is a species in flower on the day it is posted.

We are already 225 days in and so far we have had no shortage of species in flower – so fingers crossed for the 140 days to go.


Well done to all the Orchid Project team on BBC Countryfile

If anyone missed this evenings Countryfile catch it now here the BBC camera team made the greenhouse look very jungly and featured lots of wonderful students sharing their passion for orchids.

If you want visit the school greenhouses and see the real Orchid Project we are hosting the British Orchid Show (British Orchid Council Congress) on November 3rd and 4th 2018 – Still over a year away but it will be a wonderful event with orchid nurseries coming from all over the world, orchid displays from societies across the UK, stands from our partner Universities and industry partners, a series of scientific lectures, information for home orchid growers, and global orchid conservation.


365 days of orchids – day 225 – Masdevallia paiveana

This Masdevallia species is native to Peru and Bolivia where it is found as an epiphyte in woodland around 2500m altitude.

The flowers are covered in fine hairs which make them well worth a closer look. The plant is a little unruly as successive leaves are produced a few cm from the previous one giving it a scrambling habit but it is a strong grower and soon forms a large plant. The flowers are produces on and off throughout the year and so it is a reliable point of interest in the greenhouse.


365 days of orchids – day 224 – Cattleya loddigesii

This compact Cattleya species is found near the coast through southern Brazil and Argentina. It naturally grows in both shady and brightly lit conditions as a medium sized epiphyte or lithophyte. It produces numerous large, long lasting flowers on a short inflorescence during the summer. We grow our plants with our other Cattleyas in our Warm America section which sees a 15 degree winter minimum, and no additional shading.