Brassavola nodosa

Hello, my name is Heather. I have been a part of the project for two years and dedicate time before, during and after school to it. I am in charge of Cattleya, Brassavola, Tricopillia and Barkeria. The Barkeria spectabilis recently won Orchid of  the Year. Over the next few months I will be blogging about my orchids, so keep an eye out for my blogs.

The Brassavola nodosa we found on our expedition in Belize.

Brassavola nodosa, or ‘Lady of the Night’, is a very popular orchid and has a strong fragrance. It is native to Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Central America. It is widely spread along the Gulf of Mexico, southwards from Tampico, so needs to be grown in warm to intermediate conditions with plenty of light. It flowers in autumn and winter and we grow it in Warm America. Our expedition to Belize found lots of this orchid growing in coastal forest and mangrove.  Brassavola nodosa was growing in full sun along with Schomburgkia tibicinis, which we also have in Warm America.


Prosthechea cochleata


I am going to start with Prosthechea cochleata, national flower of Belize. In Warm America, in our greenhouse, at least one of this plant is in flower at any time.  This orchid is unusual because its lip is at the top of the flower, not the bottom like most orchids.  Some other Prosthechea are the same, but not all.  For this reason it is known as the upside-down orchid.


Roles in the Greenhouse

Every student who is involved in the orchid project is allocated a genus of plants to look after.  The more time you give to the orchid project the more plants you get to look after.  I have been with the project 2 ½  years now and spend time before school, break time, lunch time, and after school down in the greenhouse or up in the lab.  As a result of this I have great fun and get to look after Prosthecheas, Encyclias, and Sophronitis.  I am going to give you a short over view of some of my plants over the next  week or so.  Keep looking and you can learn about my plants.


Greenhouse Temperatures

Many people ask us what temperatures we grow our orchids at and what sort of plants we keep in which section, so I thought I would let you all know.

Warm Asia

Warm Asia is the hottest of our greenhouses, with a temperature zone from 20 – 33 degrees C, and our vents open at 26 degrees. It is home to mainly Dendrobiums, Vandas, and Paphiopedilums.

Warm America

Warm America has a temperature zone from 18 – 33 degrees C, and our vents open at 25 degrees. It is home to mainly Prosthecheas, Cattleyas, and Stanhopeas.

Cool America

Cool America has a temperature zone from 12 – 28 degrees C, and our vents open at 22 degrees. It is home to mainly Masdevallias, Oncidiums, and Laellias.

Cool Asia

Cool Asia has a temperature zone from 10 – 28 degrees C, and our vents open at 17 degrees. It is home to mainly Coelogynes, Dendrobiums, and Cymbidiums.

Temperate sub-tropical

Temperate Sub-Tropical is out coolest section with a temperature zone from 4 – 26 degrees C, and our vents open at 7 degrees. It is home to mainly Pleiones and Disas.

The Micro-propagation Lab

The micro-propagation lab is kept around 23 degrees C, and is home to all of the orchids in flack. We grow a lot of orchids from seed so our lab is very full as you can see from this picture.

The classroom

In the middle of the greenhouses is a classroom which is used in many ways. It is used for classes to come and learn the techniques of micro-propagation of orchids. Also it is the main base of greenhouse club. It is where we all meet at lunch time and after school.