365 days of orchids – day 310 – Aerangis biloba


This is the eighth Aerangis species to appear in 365 days and is the one we find the easiest to succeed with. It is a species from Central and West Africa where it grows in deep shade in woodland up to 700m altitude. The large leaves are a deep green again indicating a plant that enjoys low light levels. The name refers to the unequally bilobed leaves ( a character it actually shares with many Aerangis species).

We grow the species warm, shaded and watered throughout the year. We grow the species mounted to show off the pendulous flowers and to allow the extensive roots to hang freely. We know others who succeed with the species in pots but we find that it can suffer from rots on a crowded bench.

The flowers are a sparkling white and although they have relatively short spurs (just 3-4cm) plants are very free flowering. We find that this species is easy to grow from seed and de-flasks well straight onto mounts. It has flowered for us just two years from de-flasking and even produces the occasional kiki (little plant) from its roots.



365 days of orchids – day 309 – Oncidium longipes

Tonight is firework night so a small oncidium exploding with flowers seems very appropriate. Oncidium longipes is a Brazilian species and we saw it growing in the forests around Macae de Cima in our school visits to Brazil in 2000 and 2006. It is restricted to primary forests and grows in the mid canopy amongst other epiphytes in dappled shade and high humidity.

We find the species really prefers to be mounted where it responds by clothing the mount in growths that burst into flower in the Autumn. Flower spikes usually produce between one and three flowers but they are large for the size of the plant as seen here.

We have grown our plants from flask (they flower two years out of flask) and they show considerable variation in colour and patterning.





365 days of orchids – day 308 – Coelogyne swaniana


Coelogyne swaniana is one of the warm growing Coelogyne species. It is found in Malaysai, Borneo, Sumatra and the Philippines in evergreen forests at around 900m altitude where it grows in moss on shaded branches or steep banks.

As well as large attractive flowers on pendulous spikes it has broad glossy leaves and plump pseudobulbs making the plant attractive throughout the year.

It grows well for us in Warm Asia in shade and watered well throughout the year. We find with Coelogynes of this type that the flowers bruise easily on suffer from water damage and so it is a good idea to move the flowering plants onto a high shelf where the flowers can be enjoyed and treated carefully to extend blooming. More than once we have missed the flowers completely as they have become lost amongst other plants on a crowded bench.