365 days of orchids – day 223 – Phalaenopsis mariae

This species is native to the Philippines and Borneo where it grows as a small sized, warm growing epiphyte. During the summer it produces pendulous flower spikes which bear a few heavily spotted flowers. The flowers carry a slight fragrance which is most present during the warmest part of the day. Phalaenosis mariae is very closely related to another species P. bastanii, which is most notably different by its slightly smaller flowers and upright flower spikes.









365 days of orchids – day 222 – Phalaenopsis bellina

This phalaenopsis species comes from Borneo where it grows it hot lowland forest in swamps or near rivers and the plant grows low in trees where it is often in deep shade. The species grows very attractive large undulating leaves and flower spikes that produce large fragrant flowers successively over a long period. The flowers have a distinct rose fragrance.

This plant seems well suited to growing in a house as it seems to enjoy high temperatures, dry air and damp roots.


365 days of orchids – Day 221 – Dendrobium cuthbertsonii

This beautiful miniature species is native to New Guinea where it grows as an epiphyte or lithophyte in mossy high mountain elfin forests. We find that the secret in cultivation is to replicate this habitat and so grow plant cool, wet and windy. We also find that plants prefer to grow mounted where there roots can establish on cork bark and plants can grow into impressive specimens.

The species is bird pollinated and comes in a wide range of colours including pink, orange, red, yellow and white – why not grow several different clones?

The flowers are extraordinarily long lasting and we have had flowers last nine months or more however we find that the plants benefit from the flowers being removed after a few months to allow the plant’s energy to into producing new growths. It is worth keeping an eye out for woodlice that will eat the roots or red spider on the leaves as either of these can cause a plant to go down hill and not recover.





365 days of orchids – day 220 – Aerangis punctata

This is a warm growing, miniature species native to Madagascar. The plants produce very large flowers for the size of the plant on spikes about 5cm long and bare 1-2 flowers during the summer. The flowers are short lived and are fragrant at night. Our plants have now been on their mounts for over 10 years and first flowered last year. Unfortunately, as with many of our summer flowering plants, many students don’t get to see the flowers as the school has broken up for 5 weeks.


365 days of orchids – day 219 – Stanhopea tigrina

Stanhopea tigrina is a warm growing epiphytic species found in Mexico. It is a medium sized plant which produces a single leaf from each pseudobulb and produces a large pendulous flower spike. The flower spike carries 2-3 large pendulous flowers which are heavily scented and only last 2 days. Our plant in flower at the moment is the nigroviolacea variety, which has flowers which are more heavily marked than the normal variety but are no less fragrant.