Flowering Orchid: Calanthe William Murray gx

Pink and white orchid: Calanthe William Murray gx

RHS Garden Wisley has a wonderful collection of deciduous Calanthe orchids in flower now in the Glasshouse. This plant was labelled Calanthe William Murray gx. Its upper petals are white with pink bottom lips and a central section shaped like a nose.

There are two subgenera of Calanthe. Preptanthe ones like this are winter-deciduous orchids that die back to peculiar structures called pseudobulbs. Hairy flowering stems appear from near their base and bear a cascade of flowers that weigh the stems down into a graceful arc.

The blooms are long lasting and lovely. They make me think of butterflies, small aliens or the plant version of a green man. The new season’s leaves will start to appear as the flowers mature.

I imagine some readers will be curious about the pseudobulbs, so I’m including a picture that shows them sticking out from the bark covered surface of the soil. I was focusing on the flowers, so they are a bit blurry.

Pot of Calanthe orchids with pseudobulbs
Calanthe orchids have pseudobulbs that poke up from the soil

For more information, check out the American Orchid Society’s website. Shared as part of Cee’s Flower of the Day.

11 Replies to “Flowering Orchid: Calanthe William Murray gx”

  1. To me, they look like something that would be dancing in Walt Disney’s “Fantasia,” which was long before your time. A pseudo-bulb is a whole new concept to me — what an interesting plant!

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