Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bletilla ochracea: Golden Chinese ground orchid

There is some gold on the lip but the plant itself is obviously pale yellow. I remember in the early 90s taking care of, oh about 75 quart pots of these plants. They were mature and flowered in an old glass greenhouse that no longer exists. Grown from seed, there was tremendous variation in color; some were quite yellow, some barely not white. They all were nice but we had no clear idea of their hardiness and worried about planting them all out and losing them to a bad winter. Clearly they were planted out at some point after I left the Arboretum. They just came into flower late last week as the commoner Bletilla striata was finishing up. There are several nice colonies of these plants; this one is near the pagoda.

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