365 days of orchids – day 124 – Dendrobium aduncum

This lovely photo taken by Ben really shows of the delicate beauty of this Dendrobium species from the Himalayas and South East Asia. Its sprays of flowers are produced from old leafless pseudobulbs.

It is found in forests from 300m to 1300m which indicates a tolerance of a range of temperatures but we grow in in our Warm Asia section.


Planning the Gongora display at the Bristol Aquarium

We have had a very successful day working with Wendy to plan the next orchid display for the Bristol Aquarium. The photo shows Tallis, Otto, Simon and Wendy with some Gongora species we took along to help us decide on planting options.

 Tallis and Wendy discus planting options.

Our plan is to plant a ‘Gongora Forest’ along the pathway as you come into the Orchid area. At the moment it is mostly just bare rock and so it will be transformed with the planting. We also want to include lots of interesting and engaging interpretation so watch this space to see what our team comes up with.

We also had a chance to plan some of the other permanent displays including the ‘Islands Display’ focussed on endangered species and a Cretaceous Orchids component for the dinosaur exhibit – The first orchids appear to have evolved about 80 million years and so were admired by Dinosaurs – no evidence has yet been found of Dinosaurs collecting orchids and making displays of them but of course the fossil record is very incomplete!


365 days of orchids – day 123 – Dendrobium jenkinsii

This is a delightful small growing species from the Eastern Himalayas and South East Asia. The species is well suited to growing mounted as its bulbs hug the surface of the cork. Flowers are produced at in late spring from last years growths in ones and twos.

We find that this is a species that likes to be moved for the winter. Its altitudinal range from 750 to 1500m indicates that it likes a warm summer but a cooler winter and so it spends the summer in Warm Asia and then moves to the roof of Cool Americas for a dry winter rest.


Sowing Laelia seed

Today was fun because I got to learn how to sow green pod. In these photos you can see me sowing a Laelia anceps seed pod. It was surprising to see how much seed came out of one pod!

First I put the seed pod in a jar of bleach to sterilise it, then I put it in sterile water to rinse the bleach off. Next I cut the end of the seed pod off and shook the seed into some jars of agar. These plants will be ready to come out of their jars in about two years time.