WSBEorchids

365 days of orchids – day 545 – Cuitlauzina pendula

This species which used to be known as Odontoglossum citrosmum is native to cool oak pine forests in Mexico from 1400 to 2200m where is experiences warm wet summers and cool dry winters.

We find that plants do best in baskets that allow for their pendulous flower spikes and hanging plants in the roof of our Cool Americas section during their dry winter rest.

The flowers emerge from the new growths in the early summer and from flowering onwards we feed and water heavily until the new bulb is mature.

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365 days of orchids – day 544 – Stanhopea insignis

We know that the summer has arrived when our stanhopeas start to flower and we have buds swelling on several species. Stanhopea insignis is endemic to Brazil where it grows in warm lowland forests up to 500m and, like all stanhopeas, has large waxy fragrant flowers which only last a few days but are well worth waiting for.

We grow all our stanhopeas in baskets to allow their pendulous flower spike to emerge and keep the baskets quite low in the greenhouse to make watering easier. The moss in the basket shown here gives an indication of our heavy watering regime for plants and we find that the perfect place to hang a stanhopea basket is under a cattleya basket. This ensures that the cattleya is dryer and brighter and the stanhopea damper and more shaded.

 

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365 days of orchids – day 543 – Dendrobium chyrseum

This delightful dendrobium species is found from the Western Himalayas and South East Asia across to Taiwan. Its pure yellow flowers are very fragrant and the school’s knitting group identify the scent as similar to bees wax furniture polish.

It grows as an epiphyte on trees and as a lithophyte on rocks, and with us does particularly well in a basket. The flowers are produced in short sprays near the top of older pseudobulbs and so plants get better and better as they age.

To reflect its natural habitat we grow the species in our Cool Asia section (min 10C) with heavy watering and feeding during the summer but a dryer winter.

 

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365 days of orchids – day 542 – Bulbophyllum stormii

Following on from yeasterday’s monster, Bulbophyllum eberhardtii,  we have one of our miniature bulbophyllums flowering today.

Bulbophyllum stormii is native to Malaysia and is found from 1000-2000m altitude and we find that it enjoys warm shady conditions in our Warm Asia section (min 17C)

Flowers are 4cm across and very large relative to the size of the plant with its single 2cm leaves and tiny pseudobulbs. We grow the species mounted and it scrambles around forming a mat or ball of plant over time. This species is attractive when not in flower because of the grey green soft leaves.

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365 days of orchids – day 541 – Bulbophyllum eberhardtii

This magnificent bulbophyylum species has been a star plant in our collection for more than twenty years and every summer we are treated to its intriguing and dramatic flowers.

Bulbophyllum eberhardtii comes from South East Asia and is found from 1000m to 1500m altitude indicating a species that will enjoy intermediate temperatures. We find that it does very well in either Warm Asia, Warm Americas or Cool Americas, so a minimum anywhere from 12C to 18C suits it making it a very adaptable plant.

With us the warmer growing plants flower first but it is easier to manage a little cooler as it seems to enjoy being damp and we water the plant throughout the year. We find that small plants enjoy the extra moisture provided by a pot but larger plants do best in a basket as it is easier to manage the long rhizome and avoiding the problem of plants wandering from their own pots and rooting in others nearby.

Over time specimen plants will form a lose ball especially if straggly bits are tied in and that is how we have managed the giant plant shown here.

We have two distinct clones of the species and look forward to growing plants from seed in the near future.

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