365 days of orchids – day 39 – Bulbophyllum rothschildianum

This is possibly the most dramatic of our Bulbophyllum species with its large red flowers and strong fishy smell. The species is found in the Eastern Himalayan region of Southern China, North East India and Burma. I have been to the warm lowland forests of Arunachal Pradesh where the species is found. These forests have a very wet summer when growth occurs but a much dryer winter which is the flowering time. We find the species does well in both baskets or pots but appreciated good drainage and watering regularly even in winter so that the bulbs do not shrivel.

The scent indicated that the species is fly pollinated although I am not aware that anyone has filmed this in the wild habitat – that sounds like a fun challenge!


365 days of orchids – day 38 – Bulbophyllum ambrosia

Bulbophyllum ambrosia is one of our most fragrant orchids with a wonderful scent of sweet warm honey. It is a pretty species from Southern China and Vietnam. It grows in lowland evergreen forest and we find it does well in our Warm Asia section kept shaded throughout the year. It has a potentially straggly growth habit with a few cm between each bulb and so it is well suited to a basket of open bark mix where it can be tied back into the basket as it grows and eventually form a ball covered in flowers.

The scent fill its end of the greenhouse – lovely.


365 days of orchids – day 37 – Odontoglossum cirrhosum

This dramatic and delicate orchid comes from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru where it grows in cool cloud forests. The flowers are produced on branched spikes up to a metre long but our plant has some growing still to do to reach its full potential.

Spikes present a mass of flowers that seem to float in the wind from the nearby fan and are clearly evolved to be seen by pollinators from a long way off. The long spike is a useful feature in cloud forests where tree branches are crowded with ferns and bromeliads as well as orchids.


365 days of orchids – day 36 – Dracula deltoidea

Hi Tallis here. Dracula deltoidea is an iconic orchid from Equador. It is generally found at elevations of 2600-3000metres so we keep it in Cool America. Most of the orchids from this genus very clearly look like fungi however this ones resemblance is harder to trace. The leaves get damaged if it gets hot so we try to grow it very cool and shady.

This photograph shows one of our plants from below (the flowers grow downwards) and you can see the triangular shape that gives the species its name (delta meaning traingle). The flowers each last a few weeks and they are produced successively over the winter months. We will be splitting one of our plants this spring and so there should be plants available from this summer.