Mmmm … Coconut

Even if you don’t see the flowers of this Maxillaria species, you’re definitely going to smell them. Maxillaria tenuifolia earns the nickname “Coconut Orchid” from its delicious scent. It’s native to tropical rainforests from Mexico south to Costa Rica.

Maxillaria flowersMaxillaria flowerMaxillaria flower

Orchid beginners often grow easier hybrids instead of fussier species, but this species is easy to maintain and a reliable bloomer. Coconut Orchids are great transition orchids for beginners who may want to try their hand with some more advanced growing skills. Care for them like Cattleyas, with bright light, regular water & fertilizer, good humidity, and winter dormancy. Their rich red flowers, up to 2 inches (5.1 cm) wide, can last more than 2 months.

Maxillaria flowerMaxillaria flower close upMaxillaria flower

This orchid sports long, skinny, grass-like leaves that are deceptively sturdy. Maxillaria flowers bloom on short stems, so they’re often hidden in the foliage, but their fragrance gives them away. The final photo shows another plant with a color variation that’s more orange than red. No matter the hue, they smell just as sweet. Just don’t be surprised if they inspire cravings for Coconut Cream Pie.

Maxillaria flowers and leavesMaxillaria flower hidden in its long, skinny leavesOrange color form of Maxillaria

Explore posts in the same categories: Fertilizing, Fragrant Orchids, Intermediate Growers, Photos, Watering

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7 Comments on “Mmmm … Coconut”

  1. Joy Blake Says:

    They’re one of my favs! Lots of people grow them in Hawaii for the coconut scent, and we know our coconuts in Hawaii. I grew up in Lahaina on Maui, and now your post is making me want to go visit again.

  2. Elena Says:

    Beautiful flowers!

  3. nancy Says:

    really they’re inspiring cravings for a cocktail made with rum in a coconut with a big straw

  4. Melanie Williams Says:

    they look so cute! I wish their scent could come off the internet so we could all enjoy it.

  5. PHE Says:

    thanks for the cool pics

  6. LT808 Says:

    thanks great post

  7. Ron G62 Says:

    Great blog here. I really enjoy reading your posts.