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.


365 days of orchids – day 122 – Cymbidium tigrinum


This beautiful small growing species is our eighth Cymbidium species on 365 days. It is another Himalayan species and is found growing as a lithophyte on rocks from Assam, Myanmar and China.

This plant is grown from seed we sowed in 2004and is now quite a specimen. We find that plants grow really well in baskets that show their slightly pendulous large flowers off to full advantage. Plants look rather like Coelogynes when not in flower and we grow the species in a similar way to Coelogyne cristata with a very wet summer and a cool winter.

There is quite a bit of variation in the species and we have darker and lighter clones.

 A less spotted but darker petalled clone.



365 days of orchids – day 121 – Dendrobium thyrsiflorum


This majestic species is native to Eastern Himalayas and South East Asia. We have seen it on school expeditions to Laos growing in the tops of tall trees in evergreen and semi deciduous forest at around 1000m where it experiences warm wet summers and a dryer cooler winter.

To reflect the natural habitat we grow the species in Warm Asia during the summer but move it to cool Americas for the winter which encourages perfect flowering as you can see from the photo where the plant surrounds James, Hanna and Issy with its masses flower spikes from previous years bulbs.

 The species is closely related to Dendrobium densiflorum (day 97) which grows further west in the Himalayas, has shorter differently shaped bulbs and flowers that are all yellow and tighter on the spike.

We have another clone in flower too so lots of pollinating to do on Monday.