Friday, November 23, 2012

Arpophyllum giganteum

Arpophyllum giganteum
Today I visited Patrick Donnelly from the Walker Bay Orchid Society after work. Patrick very kindly gave me one of his Arpophyllum giganteum specimens. This was the first time I have seen this species in cultivation. The plant is large with beautiful strap-type tall leaves. The flower inflorescence is striking against the contrast of the leaves and the many tiny pink flowers are resupinate which is rather intriguing. I have taken a few pics at various distances. I have also pollinated a few flowers to see if I can get some pods to develop. The pollinia are blue!
Patrick mentioned to me that the species can be grown in full sunlight. Additional information on the web suggests that it can be grown as per cool-growing Cattleyas but that it needs a cold Winter to trigger flowering in Sping
Thank you once again Patrick!
Closer view (and upside-down)
Single (upside-down) bloom


  1. Hey David.

    I'd love to include this in my garden - could you include more in terms of cultural requirements? I live in Durbanville - WC - and I'm looking for orchids (both epiphyte and terrestrial) that I could use as garden and pot plants. This one looks like it could be a contender.

  2. Hi Hein. Just a note on this species - it can and will sunburn if in direct sunlight if not carefully acclimatised gradually to full sun. It will probably do better in strong indirect sunlight. They are tough plants and I found mine very forgiving. You may find it hard getting hold of one of these but I would also suggest chatting to the guys at TOS (Tygerberg Orchid Society) about the best spot in your garden. You should consider the Cymbidium hybrids for your location. They would probably do much better and some of them make significant specimen plants with masses of large blooms in winter. They are also more easily available and I would suggest a visit to Duckitts in Darling at one of their open days. They often have some awesome plants available.

    Cheers, David