We have a lovelt species flowering today that is another we found in Sarawak. Eria javanica sounds as if it should be endemic to Java but is actually found through the Eastern Himalayas from Sikkim eastwards, South East Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The species is reported growing from sea level up to 1200m and we find that it enjoys conditions in our Warm Asia section (min 17C). In Mulu national park we found the species growing at 200m altitude and so it is definitely warm growing on Borneo.
The long spikes of fragrant flowers are produced from both this year’s and last year’s growths giving an impressive display of star like flowers. Most Eria species are hairy but in this species this is limited to a slightly hairy flower stem.
I posted the standards form of Maxillaria sophronitis last month but this clone is so distinct that it deserves its own day on 365 days.
The species is found from 750m to 1500m altitude and so we grow it in both our Warm Americas and our Cool America sections.The small form seems harder to flower than the standard form and definitely prefers it cool. It also needs good light to flower so the plant you see is hanging in the roof of cool Americas where the only challenge is to water it sufficiently.
It is well worth the effort as it makes a fantastic specimen as you can see.
Click here to vote for your favourites from the website over the past year. This year we have given three categories, wild orchid of Sarawak, cultivated orchid and miniature orchid, to reflect the year of orchids we have had here at School and on our travels. Have fun – the results will be announced at the end of next week to give students time to vote.
Yesterday’s small growing scarlet orchid (Cattleya coccinea) seemed to go down well so how about a much smaller orange flowered orchid with really tiny flowers. Later today we will launch our votes for Orchid of the Year 2019 and will have several categories to add interest. One category will be miniature orchids and the criteria will be that the whole of the plant can fit in the palm of your hand so this will definitely qualify as the whole plant shown is 3cm across.
As you will have seen we have lots of very small flowered orchids but this tiny orange flowered species from South and Central America is an extreme case of miniature.
Platystele stenostachya is a mini-miniature found all the way from Mexico in the north to Peru in the South. It has been reported from sea level up to 1700m and with such a range is not surprisingly a variable species in terms of flower colour and shape. Our plants have tiny golden star like flowers with a deep orange lip. The species is almost always in flower and a really interesting addition to any collection.
The species is a tough little grower and produces lots of roots suggesting it can cope in dryer conditions that a lot of the tiny members of the pleurothallis family. We have had this plant for a few years and it is approaching specimen size and it is covered with flowers – subtly spectacular as long as your eyesight is good!
2020 is going to be an exciting year for the orchid project as we continue our work at School and with our partners in Sarawak and Rwanda.
From 6th March we will be in Taiwan for the World Orchid Congress with several students giving presentations and our joint display with The Sarawak Orchid Society, MRSM School Kuching, and FAWE School Kigali, Rwanda.
April 7th and 8th we will be at the London Orchid Show and we can already see some fantastic plants that will be perfect for the show.
In May (30th and 31st) the British Orchid Congress is being held in Southport and we are looking forward to the exciting event planned.
We are also planning our next trip to Sarawak and working on supporting the students at FAWE School Rwanda with their conservation effort with Aerangis verdickii.
All the news will be shared here over the next few months.