Pholidota chinensis – 365 days of orchids – day 1146

Our Pholidota chinensis is looking amazing this week.


This lovely free flowering orchid is native to warm forests in Southern China and Vietnam where it experience a wet summer monsoon and a cooler dryer winter when it flowers.

We find it enjoys warm temperatures in Warm Asia and although we grow it in a basket to show off the lovely pendulous flowers we work hard to keep it well watered in the growing season from March until September. Flowers are produced from the centre of new growths every spring.

We have two clones of this species which are very different in growth form with this clone having longer bulbs and longer flower spikes. The flowers however are very similar.


Dendrobium malvicolor – 365 days of orchids – day 1145

This delightful little dendrobium is another of our reliable early spring flowerer.


Dendrobium malvicolor is a small growing species is endemic to Sumatra where it grows from 1550 to 3050m. Plants have small dark pseudobulbs which are thin at the base and thicker near the end where they flower.

We grow the species in our Warm Asia section but in light of the high altitude it would be happy a little cooler.

We have nearly fifty dendrobium species in our collection and this wonderful diverse genus includes many of our most flamboyant orchids as well as delicate species like this one. Walking around the greenhouses today we identified several dendrobiums in bud that will flower for our many shows this spring so look out for some lovely species over the next few weeks.



Cattleya trianae ‘alba’ – 365 days of orchids – day 1144

The first of our Cattleya trianae clones has opened it flower.


This orchid is a very reliable spring flowering species which thrives in our Warm Americas section. We find that we have different clones flowering from early February (alba is always the first) through to April.

Cattleya trianae is the national flower of Colombia and is endemic to that country where it is found in open woodland at around 1000m altitude. In cultivation we find that plants enjoy good light and free draining compost but plenty of water when in growth. We grow all our Cattleya trianaes in baskets hung high in the roof of the greenhouse and filled with a course bark and no moss. The plants produce masses of roots and we keep them just damp in the winter but much wetter in the summer.

This plant is labelled ‘alba’ and is mostly missing the usual purple and pink colouring but there is a slight pink tone on the lip near the yellow blotch.


Bulbophyllum picturatum – 365 days of orchids – day 1143

This terrific orchid is always a talking point with its dramatic and intricate flowers. We are in the fortunate position of always having at least one bulbophyllum species in flower at the school greenhouse and at the moment the main talking point is this terrific orchid with its dramatic and intricate flowers.


This is one of our favourite Bulbophyllum species as plants are vigorous and free flowering. For us the species tends to flower twice a year in the winter and again in late spring which more than makes up for the flowers only lasting two weeks in peak condition. We grow plants in baskets in shade in our Warm Asia section and water throughout the year.

Bulbophyllum picturatum is native to lowland forest in Thailand and Myanmar where it grows as an epiphyte in evergreen trees. The intricate flowers are produces in a terminal semicircular circular umbel like group. This habit is common in a large group of Bulbophyllums once called cirrhopetalums. The large creamy yellow tube at the bottom of the flower is formed from the lateral sepals. The flowers are fragrant and have a fishy smell which is not unpleasant.

The genus bulbophyllum is wonderfully diverse, with lots of fascinating pollination stories and I recommend anyone who has not tried a plant yet to give bulbophyllums a go.


Restrepia muscifera – 365 days of orchids – day 1142

A very reliable and floriferous species in our Cool Americas section is this small growing restrepia species. Restrepia muscifera is a variable species found from Central America through to Ecuador and this red spotted clone in particular is a strong growing and free flowering plant that regularly sends out show like the one we are enjoying this week.

This is a good time to propagate restrepias either by division or even from single leaves, removed with its stalk, or even better a little rhizome and root. We pot divisions into 3cm pots of just bark and keep plants damp and shaded until well established.