August 19, 2007

Samurai Orchid

Neofinetia falcata, or the Samurai Orchid, is a tiny, fragrant, and highly collectable orchid from Japan, where it has many fans, and clubs organized around this culurally meaningful orchid. In Japan, we visited tiny exclusive nurseries dedicated to growing this plant, as well as a few other collectable Japanese Orchids like Dendrobium moniliforme.

Although, selling for near $100. in the US, many rare forms and mutations in Japan sell for well over $100,000., but most in the $300 - $1500. range. Hence, elaborate pots are designed, and sold at Toyko orchid shows, and special growing techniques are exchanged at club meetings throughout Japan. The name comes from the legend that Samurai would wear these tiny orchids on thier belts, to symbolize thier strength and endurance, since these tiny jems bloom and grow on the outer islands of Japan. Neofinetia we're some of the earliest orchids grown by humans, where in Japan, during the Edo period in the 1600's, the present day culture began.

Today, you can grow these, for they are quire easy if you have a cool porch that doesn't freeze, or certainly a cold greenhouse. These are cold weather orchids, that don't go dormant, but that like to grow epiphytically, on the surface of fresh sphagnum, or a ball of sphagnum, and prefer to go dry and near freezing in the winter, and then warm and moist in the summer. This suits me fine, since I an keep a collection of Neofinetia in the greenhouse, virtually forgotten in the winter, on a high shelf near the glass where it stays cold, and then bring the plants out onto the deck in the summer, on wire racks, where the summer storms can drench them with rainwater.

1 comment :

  1. Matt, What a great plant. I saw that one when it was sleeping the winter away. I have had many flowers on my neo's this year and also on the d. moniliforme which are still sending out a bud or two... A word of warning these great little orchids are a real addiction with a high price attached! Glen


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