We currently have a large number of dramatic orchid species related to Vanda in Warm Asia. Micropera rostrata is native to Assam and the Eastern Himalayas where it grows pendulously in warm forest that has very wet summers and a dryer winter.
We find that in cultivation the species enjoys constantly warm conditions in Warm Asia and we keep it watered throughout the year as the species never really stops growing. Summer flowering is very reliable indicating daylight length is the flowering trigger.
The species was originally included in Aerides which makes sense from the way that it grows and flowers but the flowers them selves have a very unusual and distinctive lip and column leading to the very appropriate name rostrata which means ‘beaked’.
This small growing Bulbophyllum species is native to warm forest in South East Asia where it has been recorded in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Forest here experiences a hot wet summer and a cooler dryer winter with a hot dry season at the end of spring.
We have seen a great diversity of Bulbuphyllum species in Laos where most grow on trunks and lower branches giving some protection from the brightest sun but good light. We grow this species in Warm Asia and a winter rest in Cool America.
Vote here for your favourite orchid from this week’s species.
The winner of orchid of the week for week 21 was Cattleya mendelii – thanks for voting
The first of our native species to flower in the temperate section of our greenhouse is the fragrant orchid – Gymnadenia conopsea. This species is present in nearby Wiltshire and Clay Hill is a great spot to enjoy the opportunity to lie down and admire its scent.
Our seed raised native species grow in large pots in a mix of soil based and peat free compost with added limestone grit.
Gymnadenia conopsea is usually found in a range of pinks and purples but we are fortunate that this plant is a pure white alba clone. We will be collecting seed later in the summer to raise the next generation of native species.
We have seen this species growing abundantly in lowland forest in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. In Belize it is known as the horn orchid because of the shape of the large pseudobulbs.
The plant shown here is growing on the edge of the Belize River near Belize City. In the wild the species makes large specimens exposed to bright sun in semi-deciduous forest where they share upper branches with epiphytic cacti.
The name refers to the close relationship the species has with large ants that make their homes in the older pseudobulbs and defend the plant when it comes under threat.
The Maya Biosphere shared by Guatemala, Belize and Mexico this lowland dryish forest was once the centre of the Mayan Civilization. The photograph here is taken from the top of a pyramid in Yaxha.
In Yaxha we worked with the Private National Reserves of Guatemala to produce a field guide to the orchids of a community reserve and gathered a fallen Myrmecophyla tibicinis to relocate in a tree and rather painfully forgot about the ant thing – ouch!
We grow the species in baskets and mounted in Warm Americas where they enjoy good light and plenty of water and feed when in growth.
We have three clones showing the variation within the species only one clone has branching which gives a really dramatic display (top photos) and another clone is shown below.