365 days of orchids – day 470 – Coelogyne flexuosa

Coelogyne flexuosa is a fairly large growing Coelogyne native to warm forests in Malaysia, Sumatra, Bali and Java from 900 to 1500m altitude. It grows lovely large bright green leaves and in spring produces long delicate flower spikes with up to twenty fragrant, small but pretty flowers. The spike has a very noticeable zig zag which gives the species its name.

Despite not being the most showy Coelogyne we are delighted to grow the species and find it is reliable and well worth its space in Warm Asia where it grows through the summer and flowers from the top of the mature pseudobulb. We suspect it will eventually make a fine specimen plant.



365 days of orchids – day 469 – Dendrobium densiflorum

The flowering of Dendrobium densiflorum in the greenhouse is always a special event. This has to be one of the most dramatic we grow we have been fortunate to see it flowering its natural habitat too. In Sikkim the species grows at around 1000m where it lives as an epiphyte generally in tall semi-evergreen trees with little moss as shown below. The high end of its range overlaps the lower end of Dendrobium nobile’s range and we have seen both species flowering together during April just as they do in our greenhouse,

We grow out plants mounted with heavy watering in the summer. This is one of the plants that section hops in the greenhouse to replicate its natural habitat. In the summer it grows its new pseudobulbs rapidly and we find it a home in Warm Asia where heat and heavy watering help it to grow long bulbs. Its native Sikkim becomes quite cool at 1000m in winter and so we move it for a fairly dry rest in Coll Asia from November until March. We then move it back to warm where the change in climate induces rapid flower development.


365 days of orchids – day 468 – Schomburgkia lueddemanii

The genus Schomburgkia has about 22 species from South and Central America and we have two of them in flower this week. Yesterday we had Schomburgkia splendida and today we have Schomburgkia lueddemanii. This is a larger growing species with larger flowers but a similar theme of twisted brown petals and sepals and a pink lip.

Plants are robust and produce tall spikes topped with up to twenty flowers that give a dramatic display

We have had Schomburgkia lueddemanii for eleven years now and this year it has produced two majestic spikes each with 16 flowers.  The species is found from Venezuela to Costa Rica and is found in hot lowland forest. As a result it enjoys good light and high temperatures and we grow the plant in a large basket hanging high in Warm Americas. We find it does enjoy being kept well watered especially in the summer.



365 days of orchids – day 467 – Schomburgkia splendida

Schomburgkia is a genus related to Cattleya that includes a number of large growing plants with impressive spikes of unusual flowers. Schomburgkia splendida is native to Ecuador and Colombia where it grows on trees and rocks in dryish forests around 600- 1000m. We therefore grow the species in open compost in a basket high in our Warm Americas section where it experiences a suitably warm and bright environment.