Congratulations to Jess, Issy and Laura for deserved trophies – Best Trade Enhibit and Best Trade Species for Masdevallia coccines. Thanks also to the show organisers for a wonderful event this year. The society displays are particularly impressive.
The smallest species we have from the Vanda family is Schoenorchis fragrans which comes from the Eastern Himalayas where it grows in warm lowland forest.
We grow the species mounted and hung right in the roof of Warm Asia where it can really dry out between waterings.
The flowers are long lasting and, not surprisingly, fragrant.
Yesterday we had a Renathera imschootiana which grows a metre high and has long flower spikes – today we have its diminutive cousin Vanda testacea. This lovely species is one of the smaller growing Vandas and the plant shown is 20cm tall and 30cm wide. the long lasting yellow and pink flowers are held well clear of the leaves and the species likes to produce multiple spikes.
Vanda testacea is native to The Himalayas from Nepal to Mayanmar and also from Sri Lanka where it is found from 700 to 2000m. The range implies it can take quite cool temperatures but we find it enjoys life with the other Vandas in Warm Asia.
Well done Laura, Issy, Jess and Gareth the display team at the Three Counties Show (Malvern International Orchid Show) I took the photo just before leaving this evening as judging was in progress (so a little dark) – Our best Malvern display yet I think.
The tent is looking fantastic with wonderful plants from all over the UK as well as international trade. Lovely to meet up with so many old friends. More news on the event to follow.
This amazing red relative of Vanda is unfortunately one of the orchid species threatened by the trade in unsustainable wild collection. It is native to the Eastern Himalayas where it grows in warm evergreen forest along rivers from 500 to 1000m. Fortunately like most tropical epiphytic orchids it is easy to grow from seed and our plant will be pollinated to help make the species common in cultivation and so reduce the pressure for wild collection.
The species grows as a single stem with stiff 15cm alternate leaves making a very stately plant with the most dramatic red flowers (the photographs do not do the colour justice) on long branched spikes.