This is a cool growing epiphyte native to the Philippines where it grows on moss covered trees in consistent moisture all year round and good air movement. It is a free flowering species, but the peak of its flowering seems to be in June when it produces the first few flowers. The flowers are held normally in clusters of 3-4 but we have known our plants to produce up to 7 on its very short spikes. The flowers of this species are famous for being blue but the quality of the blue does vary. We have two different plants of very different flower colour. The smaller of our plants produces flowers of quite a dark blue. The larger of our two plants is one of the most vigorous and floriferous clones we have seen with the plant producing 17 spikes this June alone. The larger of our two plants was in full flower in the background of the recent Countryfile segment filmed at our greenhouses, see if you can spot it.
This species was once native to the island of Java and was found as a small, warm growing epiphyte. It produces small cup shaped flowers primarily during the spring but will produce odd flowers throughout the summer. the flower spikes are shorter than the leaves and grow with a pendulous habit. The species was declared extinct in the wild during the 1970’s as the last plants were stripped from a tree on a plantation. It is a little grown species in cultivation and has only be used as a parent in a relative few first generation Phalaenopsis hybrids.
This warm growing epiphytic species native to the Philippines, is a small plant which produces a few brightly coloured flowers on a spike that is shorter than the leaves, normally through the autumn. This plant however is flowering during the summer. The species also has the ability to produce longer spikes upto 60cm long and instead of bearing flowers it produces multiple keikis. Which, in the wild, will be used to produce a colony of plants all along the host tree.
In June we had a visit from BBC cameras and Ellie Harrison from Countryfile. The programme goes out this Sunday at 5.30 on BBC 1 and will be on iplayer of course the program link is here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09170hp
This species is endemic to Peru where it grows between 2000m and 4000m as a terrestrial on rocky slopes amongst grasses. This explains the long flower spikes which carry the flowers well clear of the leaves and in reach of pollinating humming birds.
The red areas of the flower are produced by tiny purple hairs that cover the orange sepals. The Incas call the species Wajanki.
We grow the species in baskets in Cool Americas.