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.
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.