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.
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.
Coelogyne formosana, Pleione bulbocodioides var. nivea, Pleione formosana f. alba, Pleione formosana var. nivea, Pleione hookeriana f. nivea, Pleione hui, Pleione pricei, Pleione prisei
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.
Pleione: from the Greek pleione (annual).
Formosana: from the Latin formosanus (originally from the island of Formosa = Taiwan).
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.
A light spot: in the summer outside in the garden or on a windowsill facing east.
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.
1/3 sphagnum, 1/3 fine bark and 1/3 perlite
Provide specialized orchid fertilizer diluted to 1/4 of the recommended dilution, every 2-3 weeks.
Every two years, in spring, when the flower stalk appears but before the leaves have appeared.
In the spring, when repotting, divide mature plants. Keep at least 3 pseudobulbs per plant.