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.