A large number of orchids grow on our planet. There are many genera, species, varieties. And all of them are absolutely unique, have a characteristic feature that allows you to accurately determine whether they belong to the Orchid family.
There are both the smallest orchids, the flowers of which are about 2 mm, and the largest representatives that deserve our attention.
According to botanists, there are still many unexplored places on earth and who knows what discoveries are still ahead of us. Perhaps even larger or smaller orchids will be found.
Nowadays, the Tiger Orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum) is considered the largest flower among orchids.
Where do giant orchids Grow in nature?
Found in the wild in the Philippines, New Guinea, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia on the islands: Borneo, Java, Sumatra. On the Moluccas, Bismarck Islands, Laos, Vietnam.
It grows at the foot of trees, on stumps. On the trunk, a small tree is unlikely to withstand such a flower, since the weight of an adult plant reaches from several hundred kilograms to a ton.
In 1851, a Tiger Orchid weighing two tons was presented at an exhibition in the Crystal Palace of London. Was the most memorable exhibit at this exhibition.
Grows in hot, humid tropical climates at an altitude of 500-1200 meters above sea level. Loves bright lighting and high humidity. Withstands temperatures from +6 C to + 40 C. The ideal temperature is up to 30 degrees during the day, 15-18 degrees at night.
Check Rare Orchid Flowers Plant.
How big do orchids get in the wild?
You can see Tiger Orchid in the Indonesian Botanical Garden. By the way, it was entered in the Guinness Book of Records because of its size. Height is about 8 meters. Peduncles grow under 3 meters in several pieces from the base of one pseudobulb and bear about 70-100 flowers, up to 10-15 cm in diameter.
Pseudobulb grows more than two meters in height. The leaves are narrow and long, arranged in pairs on a thick, powerful trunk. They reach 1 meter in length.
They call it tiger for a reason, but because of the great similarity of the color of flowers with predatory cats. The main color of the petals is from yellow to green with characteristic “tiger” spots of brown, purple, or burgundy.
The lip is small, yellow with a transition to brown, dark orange, burgundy to the edge. It grows as a large shrub. Flowering occurs once every 2-4 years in the spring or summer months. Duration of flowering 2-3 months. The flowers are fragrant. Sometimes the diameter of the flowers is 20 cm in diameter.
The tiger orchid is also called the giant, sugarcane orchid, and also the queen.
Sugar cane is called because of the plant’s external resemblance to real cane. “Queen” because of the gigantic size in the orchid kingdom.
The genus Grammatophyllum has smaller varieties that are adapted for home cultivation. They mainly belong to epiphytes with a sympodial type of growth, pseudobulbs, and lush flowering. There are also lithophytes.
Tiger Orchid Care
At home, they are grown in the gardens of warm countries. The giant is placed in a large pot in a brightly lit place or partial shade. Water from the shower abundantly, without waiting for the substrate to dry completely, as it is very hot. Fertilizers are applied 1-2 times a month, except for the flowering period.
In our country, Grammatophyllum speciosum is a rare visitor, since it is cold in the garden in winter and takes up a lot of space in the room.
Another giant among orchids is Phalaenopsis gigantea. Homeland is also Indonesia, it grows on the island of Borneo at an altitude of 400 meters above sea level.
It grows on tree trunks, in tropical forests, where the humidity exceeds 80% all year round. High humidity due to frequent heavy rains. There is no dry period here. Is on the verge of extinction through human fault.
Phalaenopsis gigantea Description
Gigantes Phalaenopsis got its name from the size of the leaves. The stem is covered with fleshy, shiny leaves of impressive size. They are 1 meter long and 40 cm wide. Hang down, 5-7 of them grow on one trunk. A branching, thin peduncle also hangs down, 40-50 cm long.
15-30 buds are formed on one peduncle. The flowers are slightly aromatic and have a citrus scent. Only 4-7 cm in diameter. The basic tone of the petals is yellow or green with brownish-red prominent spots. There are specks on each flower, the strokes are located in different ways.
In an adult plant, several peduncles are formed and the total number of flowers is more than one hundred. Flowering lasts about a month in summer, early autumn, forming lush clusters of flowers.
See also Oncidium Orchid Varieties.
Phalaenopsis gigantea history
Phalaenopsis gigantea was first found in 1897 in Indonesia. Discovered by botanist Nivenhuis, then transported to a botanical garden on the island of Java.
In this botanical garden, the giant phalaenopsis did not bloom for a long time, and then completely died. Only in 1937 was it possible to find a new copy during the construction of roads.
At present, it is impossible to find a giant phalaenopsis in the wild, you can only see it in the garden at exhibitions.
It is interesting! A large orchid is interesting not only because of its large leaves and beautiful flowering but also because of the ease of crossing with other species. Many very beautiful hybrids have been bred. Phalaenopsis gigantic has won many orchids shows thanks to its lush bloom and large leaves.
Phalaenopsis gigantea care
It is considered one of the most difficult to care for, grows quickly, but blooms only after 6-12 years in suitable conditions.
It tolerates heat and cool temperatures well. Refers to thermophilic orchids. In the daytime, the optimal temperature is considered to be up to 30 degrees, at night 15-20 degrees.
A difference in daily temperatures of 8-10 degrees is imperative. Desirable minimum humidity from 60%, but higher is better. At high humidity, there must be air circulation.
Grown in pots, baskets in pine bark, sphagnum moss, or on a block. Water after light drying of the substrate. He does not like transplants very much; the slightest damage to the roots, it slows down in growth.
Demanding on lighting, bright light is needed without direct sunlight.