A big thank you to everyone who came to Orchid Christmas on Wednesday evening. It poured with rain and was freezing cold outside but the greenhouse was an oasis of warmth and Christmas spirit.
i am proud of you student team who were fantastic – giving tours, selling plants, providing refreshments and introducing visitors to our propagation lab and methods.
We had record numbers through the door and a very enjoyable evening. Orchid Christmas will happen again in 2018.
This remarkable species is native to evergreen forests from Sikkim though the Himalayas to South East Asia. The flower spike has over 100 flowers tightly packed together so that they form a fantastic geometric ‘cone’. The pattern produced would make a lovely silk waistcoat!
We have seen the species in Sikkim where it wraps itself around trunks and large branches thanks to its long rhizome. This habit makes it rather difficult to manage in cultivation and we have adopted the approach of wrapping it around in a circle in a basket. At present it looks a little straggly but in time it should make an impressive specimen.
We grow the species in Warm Asia where it seems happy but it could grow cooler as it is found from 1200-1400m altitude.
(Thanks again to Joe for the fantastic photos)
This is our smallest Prosthechea species with pseudobulbs 5cm tall, fine leaves and delicate flowers mostly in pairs. The species is native to South America from Brazil to Colombia where it forms mats on trees in warm forests from 200-1400m altitude.
We find that the species does best in Cool Americas but it would be happier a little warmer. It seems to enjoy baskets as it does have the inconvenient habit of walking our of small pots and growing in the ‘pot next door’
This is one of our orchid species that is always in flower. Single flowers are produces successively for more than a year from long flower spikes and as plants mature they produce several flower spikes.
The species is native to cloud forests from Mexico through Central America to Venezuela. We find the plant undemanding as it produces vigorous roots and seems to cope well with any temperature extremes we suffer in Cool Americas. Although there is never a large flower count the flowers are very attractively covered in hairs and warts that make them well worth a close look.
This is another Sikkim species and one we found growing from 1500-2000m in the reserves of Fambong Lho and Maenam. It was growing on small mossy trees in regrowth forest where it enjoys a warm wet summer and a cooler dryer winter. We find the species does best in Cool Asia amongst the Cymbidium and Coelogyne species it shares its natural habitat with. We grow the species mounted.
The small flowers are fragrant and long lasting and the species is a true minature with flowering from pseudobulbs 3cm long although they will grow to 7cm. There is another form of the species found in South East Asia (which we have seen in Laos) that is larger and warmer growing, and more similar to Dendrobium compactum but this should probably be a separate species from the Sikkim type.