Friday, August 21, 2009

Orange Blossom Orchid

Sarcochilus falcatus
This local native beauty is regarded as one of the loveliest orchids in the world. It has been flowering for several weeks, now.
The dainty plants are only small, but the spring racemes of 2.5cm flowers punctuate the shade of the vine forests with white, and have a strong, sweet perfume.
The plants are epiphytes, growing naturally on tree trunks and branches small and large, and on mossy boulders in the cooler, higher parts of our district. They like well-lit exposed situations, and prefer a climate that’s a bit fog-prone.
Sadly, this plant is rarely seen in the bush nowadays, as it is possibly our most-stolen of the native orchids. It’s now almost extinct in the wild.
It's a bit touchy to grow, but the rewards are worth it. It survives dry periods by becoming quite shrivelled and stressed-looking until the next rainfall.
It likes good light, but almost no direct sun, and is best watered at least once a week, all year round.
These plants are usually grown on a mount, but could be naturalised on trees in the higher rainfall parts of our area.
They like to be grown in light shade, and good air movement is particularly important.

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