Archive for the 'Intermediate Growers' Category

The Coconut Orchid

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Whatever the Coconut Orchid lacks in showiness, it makes up with fragrance. This tropical species features brilliant red flowers, but they’re often hidden in the foliage. However, their sweet coconut scent always gives them away. Coconut Orchids are easy to grow, and with their delicious aroma, they are popular choices for orchid lovers. Their deep […]

Den Phal Orchids

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Are they Phals or Dendrobiums?  Den Phals are Dendrobiums, and they’re very popular orchids. Also called Phalaenopsis-type Dendrobiums, or Phalanthe-type Dendrobiums, their confusing names derive from their resemblance to Phal flowers. They represent a small section of the large Dendrobium family, but they’ve become some of the most commonly cultivated varieties. Den Phals come in […]

Cynorkis: A Mini Orchid from Madagascar

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Cynorkis fastigiata is an unusual orchid from some unusual islands. It would be easy to mistake for a couple blades of grass, except for its strange flowers hovering above. This small species is native to Madagascar and nearby islands in the Indian Ocean: the Seychelles, the Comoros, Mauritius, and Reunion. This species can grow as […]

Mexicoa: A Charming Mini Orchid

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Meet Mexicoa, a sunny, fragrant mini orchid. I bought this plant a few years ago, and it’s been a reliable bloomer so far. These cheery yellow flowers have been a welcome harbinger of spring. As the name suggests, this species is native to Mexico. It can handle warm daytime temps as long as it has […]


Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

You may not like spiders, but you’ll like Spider Orchids. Brassias’ long, delicate petals resemble arachnid legs, and their muted color patterns help complete the effect. (Note that these Spider Orchids are different than the Australian Caladenia orchids with the same common name.) Many Brassias are fragrant, and sport large, graceful blooms. The flowers of […]


Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

These magical gems are Pleurothallids, a large, diverse orchid family from Central and South America. They’re popular with orchid growers who enjoy their brilliant colors, fantastic shapes, and compact sizes. Many have names which seem larger than the plants themselves. Masdevallias are the best known Pleurothallids. The first row of photos below shows just a […]


Friday, September 13th, 2013

Considering its tiny flowers, this unusual Domingoa can really put on a show. Its thick, speckled leaves produce long stems with tiny purple blossoms. This plant can stay in bloom for more than two months, putting out successive flowers over late summer and early autumn. I’ve had this Domingoa growing outdoors and blooming well for […]

Yellow Pine Orchid

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

From forests in the mountains of Japan and Taiwan, the Yellow Pine Orchid boasts clusters of colorful flowers. This cute mini orchid is Gastrochilus japonicus, a Vanda relative. This species blooms with tiny flowers dangling beneath its leaves. The entire flower cluster is only 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) wide. Since the blossoms hang below the […]


Friday, June 14th, 2013

With their incredible diversity, orchids take many forms. These Thunia flowers may resemble Cattleyas, but this large Thunia plant looks more like a cornstalk than an orchid. Possibly the fastest growing orchid, new Thunia stalks grow 3 feet (0.9 m) or more during spring. This fascinating species has lived in a west-facing room of our […]

More from Kawamoto Orchid Nursery

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Today spring starts in San Francisco with a cool rain, but it’s easy to warm up with more photos from our recent Hawaii trip. Kawamoto Orchid Nursery in Honolulu was so packed with incredible plants that my first post just scratched the surface. Here are more tropical beauties to welcome the change of season: As I […]