Pleurothallis truncata – 365 days of orchids – day 745

One of the real treasures in Cool Americas at this time of year is Pleurothallis truncata and Amailia and Ed look really pleased with their specimen plants dripping with chains of remarkable little globular flowers on the top of each leaf.

As Joe’s close up shows that this leaf has produced three flower spikes (the most we have seen is four) and for the next eight weeks there will be a spectacular show in Cool Americas.

The species is endemic to Ecuador where it grows from 1700m-3000m altutide in cool wet forest. We find the species thrives mounted, in pots and in baskets but if allowed to become too dry produced lots of little plants on the leaves (keikis) rather than flowers.

The species has the delightful habit of flowering when really small (under 10cm high) but over time becomes quite large and the specimen plants shown here are 40cm across.


A busy year ahead – some events to look forward to.

January is a good time to look forward and we have lots of projects and events in the calendar for the coming year.

Shows – Our team will be at several shows this year including:

Cheltenham OS Show – Saturday 2nd March 2019 at Churchdown Community Centre, Parton Road, Churchdown, Gloucester, GL3 2JH.10.30 am to 4.00 pm.

Bournemouth 60th Anniversary show – Highcliffe Castle, Rothesay Drive, Highcliffe, Christchurch, Dorset  BH23 4LE, Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 March 2019

London RHS Orchid Show – RHS Halls, Vincent Square, Westminster. 8-10 April 2019

Devon orchid Show – 4th May from 10.30am to 4.00pm at the Public Hall, Budleigh Salterton, EX9 6RJ

Three Counties Show – Malvern Show Ground – 14th-16th June 2019

We are also starting to plan for the next World orchid Congress in Taiwan 9-12the March, 2020


We will be working on a wide range of projects including the following:

Bristol Botanic Gardens – Working on planting the orchid trees in the subtropical house.

Bristol Aquarium – Further developing the permanent orchid displays

Eden Project – Working with new staff and focussing on the eden laboratory project

Living Rainforest – We are working towards developing three distinct educational orchid displays

Devon Wildlife Trust – Continuing our work on the Lesser Butterfly Orchid

Sarawak – Continuing our work with scientists and the Sarawak Orchid Society

Rwanda – Working towards a joint laboratory exhibit at the World Orchid Congress in 2020




Pleurothallis lindenii – 365 days of orchids – day 744

This dramatic orchid was one of the first pleurothallis species to arrive in our collection in the early 1990s was Pleurothallis secunda. This is a medium sized plant that each Christmas produces a multitude of short pendulous flower stems that carry up to ten quite large (1.5cm) red and white flowers.

The species is found from Venezuela to Peru on the trunks of trees in wet forest. The habitat provides the key to successful culture where plants are straight forward as long as they are kept moist and shaded. To much sunlight results in the leaves turning pale and developing black blotches so mounted plants, especially, are grown low down.

Plants develop into large clumps and make a great specimen as they flower from new and old leaves together. The plant shown is in a 25cm basket and has more than 50 flower spikes.


Cattleyas throughout the year

In this morning’s post I suggested that we have cattleya species in flower every month of the year and I have been challenged to prove it – so here are images from the posts of 2018:

January – cattleya percivaliana 

February – Cattleya trianae 

March – Cattleya intermedia 

April – Cattleya schroderae 

May – Cattleya lobata 

June – Cattleya purpurata 

July – Cattleya rex 

August – Cattleya forbesii 

September -Cattleya bicolor 

October  – Cattleya bowringiana 

November – cattleya walkeriana 

December – Cattleya coccinea 

Why don’t you add some cattleyas to your collection?


Cattleya percivaliana – 365 days of orchids – day 743

We have a Cattleya species in flower every month of the year and this is always a January species.

Many of the uni-foliate (one leaved) Cattleya species look superficially similar but we find that one of the clearest distinctions is flowering time. C. percivaliana is also identifiable by the single sheath, the short (15cm) flattened pseudobulbs, and by the unusual rather deep and circular markings on the lip.

Cattleya percivaliana is endemic to Venezuela where it is found as an epiphyte and on rocks from 1400-2000m altitude in good light. We grow the species in Warm Americas and hang plants in baskets above the door where plants produce copious roots that hang down from the basket.

It is a lovely species with long lasting flowers and a welcome sight in the first week of term.