Family: Orchidaceae

Widespread in the tropical Americas and the West Indies, these orchids are mainly epiphytic, with some terrestrial. Attractive, long-lasting flowers are borne singly on stems arising from the pseudobulb base.


L. aromatica has fragrant flowers, 7-8 cm (about 3 in) across, in yellow tinged with green, in spring and summer. The lip is orange.

L. deppei blooms in spring and summer. The flowers, 7-8 cm (about 3 in) across, have green sepals flecked with red-brown, white petals, and a deep yellow lip with red markings.

L. skinneri, the national flower of Guatemala, has numerous cultivars. It has large, beautiful flowers, to 15 cm (6 in) across, in a waxy white, tinged with rose. The lip is sometimes dotted with purple.


Grow in a cool to intermediate greenhouse or conservatory in pots of propri­etary bark-based orchid compost, or as epi­phytes, by mounting them on pieces of bark hung from the roof. In summer, the plants need regular watering, a very humid atmo­sphere and shade from direct sun. In winter, keep compost almost dry and ensure good light. Propagate by division in spring.


Tropical only.

Lupinus      Lychee