A great day at the South West Orchid Society Show

Our plants have had a lovely outing at the South West Orchid Society Show near Taunton. Thanks to the organisers for an enjoyable day and particularly good tea and cakes. It was great to meet up with so many of our orchid growing friends from Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Bristol, Wiltshire, Dorset and Gloucestershire.

Several of the plants that have featured in 365 days of Orchids won awards:

 Dendrobium speciosum won best in Show and Best Dendrobium

 Odontoglossum cirrhosmum won best Oncininae

 Cattleya trianae won best Cattleya

 A plant of Coelogyne cristata (we will post this once our really big specimens flower) won best Coelogyne

 Masdevallia decumana x triangularis won best Pleurothalidinae (this wont feature in 365 days as it is a hybrid not a species but it is a wonderful plant and one we will be propagating this month)

Congratulations to all the growing team especially the Cool Asia team for the wonderful Dendrobium speciosum – look out for a picture with the growers on Monday. Our next orchid show is the OSGB show at the RHS gardens Wisley on March 18th.


365 days of orchids – day 56 – Pholidota chinensis

This image shows a long flower spike.

Hello everyone my name is Edward. The Pholidota chinensis comes from china (chinensis means China) and Vietnam . When it flowers it’s many spikes produce around twenty small pinkish white flowers each that smell of bubblegum. We keep this flower in warm Asia where it is very warm and humid.

Simon Pugh-Jones adds; The genus Pholidota is closely related to Coelogyne and most of the genus have small flowers attractively presented in pendulous spikes. In Laos and Arunachal Pradesh (The extreme North Eastern sate of India which is disputed by China) we have found Pholidota species to be amongst the most numerous encountered in forests from about 1000m – 2000m altitude.

Our experience is that Pholidota species are straight forward in cultivation and worth looking out for.


365 days of Orchids – day 54 – Phalaenopsis manii

Phalaenopsis manii is a species from the lowland forests of the Himalayan foothills. I have seen it growing in Nameri National Park, one of Assam’s fantastic Tiger reserves. (see photo below)

The photo clearly shows the natural habitat for the plant. The forest is lowland seasonally dry forest and there is not sufficient rainfall or humidity for moss to grow on the branches colonised by the orchid. This plant is in the lowest branches of a large evergreen tree where light levels are quite low and it is protected from extreme desiccation in the dry season. The photograph also shows the very extensive root system this massive plant has developed over time (it must be at least twenty years old) and this will store a lot of water during dry periods as well as collecting a lot of water when it does rain.

It is also noticeable that in common with most Phalaenopsis species P. mannii has a pendulous habit which will prevent water resting in new leaves and causing rots. We grow our school plant in a pendulous way by letting it lean out of its basket. It clearly loves to grow like this and is now starting to form a clump a little similar to the wonderful specimen in Assam (by the way I am happy to talk to people interested in travelling to this fascinating region)