Is This Cool or What?

Cirrhopetalum Bulbophyllum Longissimum: say it fast three times!

The strange-looking plant in the photo is the newest addition to my orchid family. The name is a real mouthful: cirrhopetalum bulbophyllum longissimum. (Even if I didn’t have one of these it would be fun to learn the name, just to impress people…)

This shade-loving orchid is from Thailand. The flowers are very long, growing up to 18 inches.

When I first brought it home, I hung it in an east facing window, but it didn’t seem to like it there, because one of the leaves began to turn yellow. So I listened, and moved it to a north window in my kitchen. Here’s a close-up of that incredible flower.

These pendulous flowers need a lot of room to hang.

It’s always difficult to find exactly the right spot and watering routine for a new orchid. There are books, of course, but they tend to be rather rigid in their rules. I prefer asking the wise growers who are members of my orchid club, the Ocean State Orchid Society. Their rule of thumb is: if it grows and blooms for you then it’s happy, so leave it alone, already!

An example of this philosophy is the vanda I told you about last year. These are reputed to be nearly impossible to re-bloom unless you have a greenhouse. Well, I just have a very sunny window, and guess what? My vanda is in spike! I’ll post more and include pictures when it flowers.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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4 Responses to Is This Cool or What?

  1. cj wright says:

    That’s something else! Thanks for sharing this with us. Will the flower last as long as regular orchids? (I can never get them to rebloom.)


    • dirtynailz says:

      There were two flowers on this plant and they lasted about three weeks. I haven’t come across any orchids that bloom as long as our old friend, phalaenopsis. Maybe I should write a post on getting phals to re-bloom….


      • HerbDoc says:

        I thought of you today when visiting a local big box store in Westerly. They had an absolutely gorgeous blue phalaenopsis for sale…Blue Mystique. I have never seen such a beautiful, shaded blue on orchids before. If I thought I was capable of not giving it the
        brown thumb treatment, I would have bought one!


      • dirtynailz says:

        Glad you didn’t fall for it, HD. Those are dyed! There is no such thing as a blue phal. They color the water and the roots take it up and voila! You’d find yourself with a phal of a different color – probably white – after you got it home.


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