Kew today - hay-scented orchid
This beautiful orchid, with its strongly-scented flowers, is flowering just in time for the Tropical Extravaganza festival.
17 Feb 2010
Dendrochilum glumaceum (Image: RBG Kew)
Those keen to reach a higher plane of orchid heaven after visiting the Tropical Extravaganza should carry on to Zone 7 of the Princess of Wales Conservatory, where another unusual orchid can be found.
Dendrochilum glumaceum, commonly known as the hay-scented orchid, was first described by John Lindley in the nineteenth century. It is an elegant looking epiphytic orchid that comes from the Philippines and Borneo, growing at altitudes between 700 and 2,300 metres.
This species has pendulous spirals of crystalline white flowers with yellow lips which are strongly scented. They don't smell much like hay, more a like a sweet antiseptic, but you may decide otherwise. Grown in the Lower Nursery in the cool intermediate house by Chris Ryan, Bala Kompalli and their team, regular watering and feeding when in growth leads to the plants flowering in profusion in late winter. Each spike lasts up to a couple of weeks before the flowers start to fade and, cunningly, it has flowered to coincide perfectly with our orchid festival!
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