Pleione formosana

Source: chipmunk_1

Pleione formosana

The genus Pleione belongs to the family Orchidaceae, sub-family Epidendroideae, tribe Arethuseae and sub-tribe Coelogyninae.

It’s a small group of mostly terrestrial, and a few epiphytic, miniature orchids.

The genus is abbreviated as Pln in the industry.

This genus is very easy as a houseplant or in the cold greenhouse, provided that the hibernation is respected.

It is very suited for beginners.


Pleione are sympodial. 

They have pseudo-bulbs with 1 or 2 leaves of 15-30 cm long. From each pseudobulb grow a single new leaf and single flower. 

The pseudo-bulbs are relatively large, spongy, bulbous or ampulliform, narrowed at the top.

The leaves fall off in autumn and the plant undergoes a vegetative rest until the following spring.

Then a new pseudo-bulb forms, from which a new leaf and a new flower grow.


Mountains and foothills of the Himalayas in India, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China.


In well-drained sites and on moss-covered rocks, between 600 and 4,200 m altitude.


Pleione is a nymph in Greek mythology, one of the 3,000 daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. She lived in a southern region of Greece called Arcadia, on a mountain called Mount Kyllini. She married Atlas and gave birth to the Hyades, Hyas and the Pleiades.


The genus includes about 20 species:

    • Pleione albiflora
    • Pleione aurita
    • Pleione braemii
    • Pleione bulbocodioides
    • Pleione chunii
    • Pleione coronaria
    • Pleione formosana
    • Pleione forrestii
    • Pleione grandiflora
    • Pleione hookeriana
    • Pleione humilis
    • Pleione limprichtii
    • Pleione maculata
    • Pleione microphylla
    • Pleione pleionoides
    • Pleione praecox

(type species)

  • Pleione saxicola
  • Pleione scopulorum
  • Pleione vietnamensis
  • Pleione yunnanensis

And a few natural hybrids:

  • Pleione × barbarae (P. bulbocodioides × P. grandiflora) (China – Z.O. Yunnan tot N. Vietnam)
  • Pleione × christianii (P. yunnanensis × P. forrestii) (China – W. Yunnan)
  • Pleione × confusa (P. albiflora × P. forrestii) (China – W. Yunnan)
  • Pleione × kohlsii (P. aurita × P. forrestii) (China – W. Yunnan)
  • Pleione × lagenaria (P. maculata × P. praecox) (Assam tot China – W. Yunnan)
  • Pleione × taliensis (P. bulbocodioides × P. yunnanensis) (China – W. Yunnan)