365 days of orchids – day 190 – Cymbidium erythrostylum

This is a small growing, summer flowering Cymbidium that is native to Vietnam where it grows in cool forests at around 1500m. We find this species very straight forward and reliable with the advantage of flowering relatively quickly from seed. The plant shown in the photograph flowered three years out of flask and is now carrying a seed pod for the next generation. It also won best Cymbidium at our recent Orchid Festival.

The species is quite variable in the size of the flower and the colour of the lip striping which varies from deep red to scarlet/orange. The white of the flowers is very white and always attracts attention.


365 days of orchids – day 189 – Masdevallia pyxis

This is a small sized Masdevallia native to Peru that grows in cool forest around 2300m altitude where it grows as an epiphyte of lithophyte. It has thick rounded leaves and the flowers are produced in profusion on stems much shorter than the leaves. We find that growing the species mounted or in a small basket shows of the flowers to their best, or in a pot it works well to stand the pot on something that allows you to see under the leaves.


365 days of orchids – day 187 – Coelogyne schultesii

This unusual Coelogyne species has a wonderful habit of flowering for several years from each flower spike, a habit it shares with a small number of other species from section prolifera.

The result is a specimen plant with flowers simultaneously  produced from several year’s growths. After flowering the flower spikes take a ten month rest before extending again for the next year’s flowers. The longest we have had is four years of flowering from one stem.

We have seen this species in forest above Gangtok in Sikkim where it grows in cool, wet, evergreen, monsoon forest on mossy trunks and branches.

To match this habitat we grow the species in our Cool Asia section (minimum 10C) and keep it well watered throughout the year and remember not to cut off the flower spikes.



365 days of orchids – day 186 – Gongora chocoensis

This dramatic Gongora is named after Choco state in North eastern Colombia where it found as an epiphyte in Mangrove swamp. It is therefore a warm growing species and at home in our Warm Asia section (although growing nowhere near Asia)

Our clone has a really dramatic eye on the lip and the flowers are large compared to other Gongora species.

Tomorrow we have Wendy from the Bristol Aquarium visiting. She will be taking away the first Gongora plants for the Aquarium’s new permanent Gongora display. Today we have been sorting plants for the display and information for the public.