Grammatophyllum speciosum is a species in the Grammatophyllum genus and the largest orchid in the world.
Description[edit | edit source]
It is an epiphytic and occasionally a lithophytic plant, formımg spectacular root bundles. Its cylindric pseudobulbs can grow to a length of 2.5 m. It can grow to gigantic clusters weighing from several hundred kilograms to more than one ton. A Giant Orchid weighing two tons was one of the highlights in the 1851 exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London.
Each raceme can grow to a height of 3m, bearing up to eighty flowers, each 10 cm wide. The flowers are yellow colored with maroon or dark red spots. These flowers are remarkable, since the lowest flowers have no lip. It blooms only once every two to four years. This orchid can, however, remain in bloom for up to two months.
Plant blooms from fall to summer 30 to 50 sometimes fragrant flowers. Flowers can grow up to 20 cm wide.
Distribution[edit | edit source]
It is native to Myanamar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia(Sumatera, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi, and West Papua), Moluccas, the Philippines, Bismark Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Malaysia, growing in crotches of large trees and tree stumps on exposed areas of the lowland tropical rain forest.
Culture[edit | edit source]
These plants are usually rare in cultivation due to their spacial requirements. Plants require direct sunlight and intermediate to warm temperatures. Keep in temperatures of 75° to 85°F in the day and 55°-6O°F in the night. Plants can tolerate temperatures up to 100°F and as low as 45°F. Plants need to be heavily fertilized during growing season. Pot in sphagnum moss or medium fir bark. Mix should be well drained. Keep area well ventilated. Water frequently in spring to early fall during growth period, but do not keep mix wet and damp. In the winter reduce watering and water when potting media is dried.
Naming[edit | edit source]
Common Name: Tiger Orchid, Sugar Cane Orchid, Giant Orchid, or Queen of the Orchids
Synonyms[edit | edit source]
- Grammatophyllum cominsii Rolfe 1891
- Grammatophyllum fastuosum Lindl. & Paxton 1851
- Grammatophyllum giganteum Blume ex Rchb. f. 1877
- Grammatophyllum macranthum Rchb. f. 1862
- Grammatophyllum pantherinum Rchb.f 1878
- Grammatophyllum papuanum J.J. Sm. 1911
- Grammatophyllum sanderianum hort. 1893
- Grammatophyllum wallisii Rchb. f. 1877
- Pattonia macrantha Wight 1852