Have a look at our new tab – an alphabetical list of all the species we have featured in 365 days of orchids. This will give you a quick link to the species we grow at the Orchid Project, and will act as a catalogue at shows and events so that you can check information about any of the plants we have for sale or on our display.
Radstock is more like Narnia this morning and there is no sign to there ever being an end to winter! With me cut off from the world in Frome it was up to Jess and Gareth to set out and brave the arctic conditions to check and water the orchids.
When Jess arrived the snow was up to the top of her boots..
or even deeper!
But the greenhouse was warm and tropical – if a bit dark with all the thermal screens in place.
This dramatic Dendrobium is native to the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu (A real South Sea Islander). It is found in wet forests from 450 to 3000m altitude which indicates it is cool growing although we grow our plant very successfully in Warm Asia. It may be that our plant is propagated from plants found at the lower altitude range or that it is just not very fussy about temperature.
It is likely to be sun bird pollinated and the unusual folded up lip is adapted for the beak of a hovering bird rather than being a landing platform for an insect.
An unusual characteristic of the plant is to flower from old pseudobulbs – soma as old as seven years old on our plant. This produces a great display over time but remember not to cut off old leafless pseudobulbs or you will have no flowers.
We grow the plant mounted but to reflect its natural habitat we water it freely and are happy to let moss grow naturally on the cork mount which helps to keep the plant wet between waterings.
Chloe at the Snowy greenhouses.
Storm Emma has arrived with the predicted snow and Writhlington and Mendip schools are closed for a Snow Day – the first since 2013. As usual the only activity has been in the greenhouse (Orchids don’t have snow days) where Chloe has been working hard to prepare sales plants for the European Orchid Congress and Show in Paris this month. She will release a plant list by the end of next week.
This is another species we have seen flowering in Brazil where it grows in colonies on tall trees in wet evergreen forests at around 1100m altitude. (Species flowering in habitat below)
This is a division of a plant we raised from a seedling many years ago and it has proved to be a robust species in cultivation flowering reliably every February (we saw it flowering in Brazil in October). Flowers are large and dramatic with their large white lips and we have had spikes with up to ten flowers from strong plants.
We find the species does best in a basket as it has a fair distance between bulbs on the rhizome and so tends to ‘walk’ out of pots. We keep plants damp all year but wetter in the summer.
Seeing this plant in flower always reminds me of a very pleasant lunch break under its host trees on a trek with the students on the 2006 expedition to Brazil.
Lunch under Miltonia cuneata.