I stopped by The Orchid Trail this week to see what was new. The thing about orchids is there’s always something new. After 26 years of growing orchids, I still can be fairly sure of seeing a plant I’ve never seen before whenever I visit a decent nursery. Often, it’s a plant I’ve never even heard of before. This week it was Trichoglottis luzonensis.
Trichoglottis is a genus of about 85 species from tropical Asia and Oceania. T. luzonensis, as suggested by its species epithet, comes from the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The genus name means “hairy tongue” and refers to the hairs covering the tongue-like labellum of some species. This feature is easy to see in T. luzonensis and in T. atropurpurea, the other Trichoglottis species in my collection (See item 6 in Six on Saturday #9). T. atropurpurea has short, leathery leaves on a vining stem and produces a single flower bud at each leaf axil. In contrast, T. luzonensis has longer leaves and an inflorescence with many flowers, rather like a Vanda. Perhaps the difference is flowering habit is why it has sometimes been segregated into the genus Staurochilus–which is how I found it labeled at the Orchid Trail.
The plant at the Orchid Trail had some minor sunburn on its upper leaves, but that damage is just cosmetic. The price was very reasonable and the flowers very appealing, so it came home with me. It will reside in my shade house until autumn, and then I’ll hang it high in the greenhouse–though in view of the sunburn, it will go in the end of greenhouse that is covered with shade cloth.