Plant of interest
Interesting and very different

Photo courtesy of Gary Yong Gee

Stanhopea tigrina

This orchid is uniquently different in that it must but grown in a basket or slatted wooden pot as the flower spikes grow down in the media and protrude through the bottom of the container as illustrated in the photo. Many years ago it was not understood why the plant in Kew Gardens never flowered. One day the pot was accidently broken and the flower spikes were observed trying to penetrate  unsuccessfully through the pot.


The Stanhopea genus is native to South America and consequently likes to grow in tropical conditions. Given warmth and humidity it is relatively easy to grow and flower but likes to be moist and not dry out in summer. Grown under fifty to seventy percent shade cloth with good air movement would be ideal for these to do well.


Any general purpose balanced fertilizer applied fortnightly in the growing warmer months would be adequate.

General comments

Unfortunately the flowers last just for a few days and are renown for their strong perfume which some find unpleasant. But they are quite spectacular and colourful and are worthy of a spot in the greenhouse.