365 days of orchids – day 320 – Cattleya pumila

This is a small growing but large flowered species from Brazil that always gets a lot of attention when on one of our displays. It is native to humid coastal forests in the Mata Atlantica, Eastern Brazil. The species grows as an epiphyte from 600m-1300m altitude which suggests it can cope with wide range of temperatures but we find it does best in our Cool Americas section (Min 12C)

The plant shown has been grown from seed and has taken twelve years to reach its current size and this is the first time it has produced three flowers.

As you can see we grow the species mounted. We have also grown plants in pots but find the mounted plants do better for us as we can water heavily without plants becoming waterlogged.

The flowers are long lasting and sweetly fragrant – one of our favourite species.



Change of date. An evening with Simon Pugh-Jones – Orchid Project is now 23rd November 6-8pm

Correct poster above – sorry for sending out the wrong one last week. This is the first in a series of regular public lectures at Writhlington/Mendip Studio School.

We are all set with a brief history of the key events in the development of the orchid project along with opportunities to get involved in a range of workshops about our work in horticulture, conservation and science.


365 days of orchids – day 319 – Cymbidium cochleare

This is the fourteenth Cymbidium species to feature on 365 days and one of the most unusual. Again it is a species we have seen in Sikkim and in the wild or cultivation it is instantly recognisable from its very thin pendulous flower spikes with glossy pendulous flowers that smell of jasmine.


We have two spikes on our plant this year, each with twelve flowers. The plant is a delicate cymbidium with fine dark green leaves and this species really needs to be in a basket to allow for the flower habit.

The species is found across the eastern Himalayas from Sikkim to Thailand and inhabits cool wet monsoon forests. We water the plant well to avoid drying in the summer especially as it is in a basket.


365 days of orchids – day 318 – Trisetella cordeliae

To follow Trisetella scobina we have Trisitella cordeliae which is even smaller both in terms of its leaves – just 10mm long and much shorter spikes with small (but relatively large) attractive hairy pink flowers. Like T. scobina, the flower spikes produce a succession of flowers over a long period.

The species is endemic to Peruvian cloud forests and we treat it the same as other Trisetella – cool, damp and shaded.



World Orchid Conference – Part 2

The Ecuagenera display

The show has now drawn to a close, and it held some very interesting and remarkable species, mostly on the Ecuagenera display. amongst them was the grand champion plant, a large Dendrobium parvulum, a species that you really do not see enough in the UK.

Grand Champion Plant

Some of the other notable plants were several Phragmipedium kovachii, a species that, until earlier this week, I had never seen before. The flowers were just as amazing as I had imagined, the flower pictured is as large as my hand, and the indoor lighting does not do the colour justice either. Making it even more amazing that it was only described in 2001.

Phrag kovachii

The outer surface of the sepals was also interesting, most slipper enthusiasts probably already know this. They have a pubescent brown surface that looks exactly like a dead bud, probably deterring predators from eating it, a technique noted in many plant species.