Hyacinth Orchid

January’s chilly start has been perfect for this beautiful Arpophyllum. Here on the California coast, this Cattleya relative is blooming outdoors on our back deck, and it’s easy to see how it acquired the nickname “Hyacinth Orchid.” This gorgeous plant was a gift from Dave’s parents, and it’s proving to be a reliable bloomer over the years. Dave took these photos indoors using different lighting than before. This set really brings out the pink in the flowers, but you can compare with the photos from last year when the sunlight really showed them in more of a purple hue.

Arpophyllum flowersArpophyllum flower spikesArpophyllum flowers close up

This species is native to a large area from Mexico south to Colombia, Venezuela and east to Jamaica. Each 4 – 5 inch (10 – 13 cm) spike has dozens of small flowers neatly arranged in a spiral pattern. The last shot in this set shows unopened buds, a reminder that flowers can have charms even before they bloom.

Arpophyllum flower spikeArpophyllum flowers spikes and leavesArpophyllum flower buds

This Hyacinth Orchid supports dozens of flowers even though it’s in its dormant season. I just let our sporadic winter rains take care of it, and don’t add water or fertilizer. With heavier rains, I move it below deck to keep it on the drier side.

Arpophyllum flowers close upArpophyllum flowers

Explore posts in the same categories: Dormancy, Intermediate Growers, Photos

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8 Comments on “Hyacinth Orchid”

  1. TC Says:

    Hello Marc,

    I hail from zone 5 western PA and was directed here by someone you know: Brenda Hogue. She and I met through Penn State’s Master Gardener program here in Mercer County, PA.

    The reason she gave me the link to aboutorchids.com is because I have an orchid that I don’t know anything about. I know it’s special though – it’s holy. It was given to me by a Catholic priest, the Reverend Monsignor Zietler had it as a houseplant and said he never seen it flower. I’ve had it about two years and it’s barely shown any new growth during this time.

    Brenda says you might be able to help me figure out a way to see it flower. I sure hope so!

  2. Marc Says:

    Hello TC. Your best bet to see it flower is to identify your orchid so you can learn its specific care conditions. However, it’s tough to identify an orchid if you’ve never seen the flowers, so check out this basic orchid care info. Phals, also called Moth Orchids, are the most common orchids sold today, and have distinctive leaves, so if yours looks like a match, then follow the care info listed. Good luck!

  3. TC Says:

    Hi Marc, I forgot to mention that I can’t identify it by its leaves. And I have been taking care of it as mentioned in your basic care info.

    Oh well…I guess it’ll make good compost.

  4. Marc Says:

    You might not want to throw in the towel yet. If you’ve been following good basic care, the next step I’d take is to slowly increase light. Pennsylvania in mid-winter has a weak sun, so you may want to check out info on seasonal light. If you increase light and the leaves turn a lighter shade of green, you may be on the right track.

  5. Joy Blake Says:

    Thanks for the remarkable photos!

  6. Peter Says:

    I can see why its called hyacinth orchid. If I saw one I would have thought that’s what it was. Thanks for the great post!!

  7. Cindi Says:

    I love thos beautiful colors. Thanks.

  8. lilah Says:

    Flowers they look like pink lollipops … delicious!