Orchid of the Day: Sarcochilus

So many people think of orchids as delicate and fragile, but this little Sarcochilus hartmanii is one tough plant. Related to Phalaenopsis and Vanda, in the wild Sarcochilus grow as lithophytes, or rock plants. Their roots attach to cliff-face rocks in eastern Australia, holding on despite strong ocean winds. They can handle a wide range of temperatures, and can even survive mild freezes in winter.

Sarcochilus orchid flowerSarcochilus flowers

Part of their toughness is the durability of their blooms. These Sarcochilus flowers last 2 or 3 months through the spring, surviving rain, wind, and heat waves. I keep the plant growing outdoors on my back deck, where it receives bright light, including some direct sun.

Sarcochilus flowersSarcochilus flower and flower buds

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4 Comments on “Orchid of the Day: Sarcochilus”

  1. bj Says:

    I’ve seen that plant growing in big clumps in Australian coastal mountains. They can have 2 dozen flowers on each spike.

  2. Hanley Says:

    Great flowers!!!

  3. nancy Says:

    those flowers look so small! how big are they?

  4. Marc Says:

    The flowers are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) across.