Pleione formosana

Pleione formosana

Pleione formosana is a small terrestrial or lithophytic orchid, member of the genus Pleione and original from the mountains of China where it grows in a cold and foggy climate.

The color of the flower varies greatly, usually from pale pink to deep purple, sometimes white.

Pleione formosana is part of the family Orchidaceae, sub-family Epidendroideae, tribe Arethuseae, sub-tribe Coelogyninae, genus Pleione.

Description:

The plant has a pseudo-bulb of approximately 3 cm above the ground. Each pseudo-bulb produces a green, elliptical leave up to 30 cm long. In autumn the leaves fall off and the pseudo-bulb shrivels. In spring, new pseudobulbs are formed from which new leaves grow.

The flower stalk is basal: it appears in spring at the foot of the pseudo-bulb, usually even before new foliage appears. It is 10-12 cm long and bears a single flower of 6-10 cm in diameter.

The color varies from pale pink to deep purple and sometimes white. The lip is rolled to form a tube that is fringed at the tip.

Synonyms:

Coelogyne formosana, Pleione bulbocodioides var. nivea, Pleione formosana f. alba, Pleione formosana var. nivea, Pleione hookeriana f. nivea, Pleione hui, Pleione pricei, Pleione prisei

Origin:

Eastern China

Habitat:

Pleione formosana grows on mossy rocks or logs, in damp foggy areas near the tree line, in shady places in the mountains of Formosa at altitudes of 1,500-2,500 m.



Etymology:

Pleione: from the Greek pleione (annual).
Formosana: from the Latin formosanus (originally from the island of Formosa = Taiwan).

Care:

Temperature:

This orchid prefers coolness, between 6-24 °C. Temperatures above 26 °C can damage them.
It can resist some very light frost but then only in very well drained soil and covered with a thick mulch layer. This mulch should be removed in the spring so that the newly formed flower stalk and leaf may emerge.
In winter, keep at 4-8 °C.

Light:

A light spot: in the summer outside in the garden or on a windowsill facing east.

Water:

Must remain moist during the growing season. In winter, the let the soil dry out completely.
Do not use water from a water softener or tap water. Tap water can be decalcified with 1 ml of vinegar (8%) per liter of water. You can also use distilled water.

Humidity:

50 %

Substrate:

1/3 sphagnum, 1/3 fine bark and 1/3 perlite

Feed:

Provide specialized orchid fertilizer diluted to 1/4 of the recommended dilution, every 2-3 weeks.

Repot:

Every two years, in spring, when the flower stalk appears but before the leaves have appeared.

Propagation:

Division:

In the spring, when repotting, divide mature plants. Keep at least 3 pseudobulbs per plant.

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