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With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

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Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

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Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
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Friday, February 19, 2010

Ground Orchids Spathoglottis Hybrids

Spathoglottis is a genus of tropical terrestial orchids that are native in regions from Sri Lanka and South East Asia to the Pacific islands. There are about 45 species of spathoglottis growing in diverse habitats in South East Asia, India, New Caledonia, Tonga, Solomon Islands and Cape York Peninsular, Australia. I'm sure you can find it in Hawaii, Florida and other tropical and sub-tropical USA regions too.

Spathoglottis orchids are easy to cultivate here and sought after for their pretty flowers and evergreen foliage. Leaves are long, slender and parallel-veined. This orchid is used as a ground cover in tropical landscaped gardens and it can also be grown in a container as a houseplant.

Botanical name: Spathoglottis hybrids
Common name: Garden orchid, boat orchid, ground orchid, Philippines ground orchid, palm orchid*
Family: Orchidaceae

* info, thanks to James Missier of Garden Chronicles blog.

Flowers occur in clusters that form at the end of a long stalk and come in purple, orange, yellow and white.
When you look closely at the flowers, you will be able to see their 3-lobed labellum that projects forward with an extended midlobe that make it easy for insects to land. Both sepals and petals are broad and the sepals are hairy on the outside. Some spathoglottis orchids are self-pollinating while others are insect pollinated.

Spathoglottis orchids prefer well drained loamy soil. Water them regularly but do not overwater. Here they grow well in light shade to full sun exposure. I think their biggest enemy is the white mealy bugs that forms in clusters behind the leaves.

I have this magenta or pinkish purple Spathoglottis plicata in my garden.

Spathoglottis plicata is listed as vulnerable in Australia.

In Malaysia, we used to find this orchid in many homes in the kampungs and villages. In my next post about other ground orchids, I shall share more about these simple, pretty orchids, and my special orchid.

I am very eager to know if you are growing these ground orchids in your climate zone. Do share your experience in a comment here.

Note: The pinkish-yellow and white spathoglottis pictures are taken at The Secret Garden of 1-Utama while the purple one in the last picture is from my garden.

My post today is dedicated to Ms Sunny from USA, of Barnyards and Barnacles - An America Photo Journey blog. She was the first commenter of my previous post, tittled "Datura metel - Wordless Wednesday". She has a great blog full of beautiful, beautiful pictures which I have already found and admired even before joining Blotanical. I am so glad she still visits and comments on my blog. Yay, yay, yay :).

This is my entry for Blooming Friday, 3rd week of February 2010. The theme this week is "Eye Candy for the Weekend." My grateful thanks to Katarina at Roses and Stuff for hosting Blooming Friday. To see what others have posted or to participate, click here.This is also my entry for Today's Flowers #81. My grateful thanks to the TF folks: Santilli, Denise, Pupo and Valkyrien for hosting Today's Flowers. To participate or view other floral displays around the world, click here.


  1. Hi Autumn Belle! I have the purple and the white spathiglottis. I think the pink one is the best. They are such undemanding orchids, aren't they? Have a nice day:-)

  2. Ahh.. this ground orchid, locally known also as palm orchid.
    And for that reason, it remains as palm leaf plant rather than blooming.
    Over fertilising can burn the plant, no fertiliser means no flower...
    And so my pot of orchid just sit there waiting..

  3. I only saw the purple blooming one in our local nursery (Florida, zone10). I saw so many nice comments about it, so definitely I will introduce it into my garden as soon as I see it for sale again. I love the pink and white one even better! Thanks fo sharing!

  4. Re: your note about Blotanical --

    I haven't been able to get in to Blotanical since Saturday. I have no idea what's going on. Checked Stuart's blog to see if there was any explanation there, and there wasn't one.

  5. We are growing these here in Florida. I have 'Berry' (my fave), 'Grapette', and 'Sorbet.' Check my sidebar for a photo from by garden. These are one of my favorite flowers to photograph, and they bloom for months and months.

  6. Very attractive blooms! There are more and more colours nowadays. I like all of them :-D For me, the best are those wild ones. I just love to see them growing in the wild.

  7. I am late again in commenting here, i like to be first so i can get your dedication, hihihi. My computer is running very slowly now, getting impatient. I am not very particularly wanting ground orchids but i love that white one. I once bought the yellow with bigger flowers from a show, and it did not flower but once, i think there is virus in it. But it is still alive, just not flowering. I dont tend it anymore though, just wait for it to disappear. Poor Spathog, will die out of neglect.

  8. They are beautiful orchids ... lovely photos! I particularly like the white one ... although the 'plicata' is a stunner.

    As for Blotanical ... On the 15th of Feb. Stuart left a message on his Twitter page ... he's changing servers and said the site will be down for days! So maybe this weekend it will be back on line!

  9. I like the colour contrast of the purple spathog. Thanks for sharing the info - I should try to plant them as easy ones are for me!!

  10. Lovely Orchids which my godfather used to plant them. Also reminds me of one advert when the dad was trying to teach his daughter 'flower' and she just said "Orchid lah". Brilliant minds to have that idea. Just adore the last pix so nice pinkish purple my fav color. tQ

  11. Lotus leaf, James, Ami, Mr Sub, Floridagirl, Stephanie, Foto chip, Andrea, Bernie, Keats, Bananaz, thank you very much for the nice comments.

    This humble little orchid is truly unique. Like what James said, the leaves really look and feel like thin palm leaves, which is so different from the usual fleshy ones we see of other orchids.

    Floridagirl, yes! I saw your spatho orchids at your sideboard. Gorgeous indeed.

    Bernie, thanks for your info about Stuart's twitter message. That explains why Blotanical's server is unaccessible. I have posted this message on my sideboard.

  12. The only ground orchid I know of that grows in my area are the Bletillas... These are lovely, I wish I could grow them here!

  13. They are lovely. I had an orchid as a houseplant , no idea of it's botanical name, after its first flower it never flowered again. I had it on a high shelf in the kitchen, when I did my watering rounds I always seemed to miss it, eventually it died. There are wild orchids that grow up here in the forest and in meadows in the mountains. They are tinier and less showey than yours bit all the more exotic for being able to survive our extreme climate.

  14. It is very interesting to see an Orchid growing outside as they are grown under glass or as house plants over here. They are very beautiful.

  15. Hi Autumn Belle....beautiful beautiful orchids. I especially love the white bloom....white is my favourite addition to the garden.
    Sadly orchids are only indoor plants in my part of the world.
    It was a delight and absolute pleasure to share your flowers.....

  16. Thank you so much, Autumn Belle, I am truly honored and delighted.
    The beauty of your pictures bring so much joy to my heart and a smile to my face.
    Sunny :)

  17. Lovely orchids and great that they grow in the ground.

  18. I love these orchids, I have the purple ones and they don't look too good at this moment. It is in full sun and I think I need to put it in some shade. Lovely photos Autumn Belle

  19. Mother nature is amazing! Those flowers are as pretty as can be - simply adorable. How lucky you are to have that cerise one growing in your garden!

  20. what gorgeous gorgeous pink ground orchids! I never really see any orchids except for the typical ones. Never this type.

  21. Beautiful ground orchids.... But our garden is small to take in more.. So for now, our purple represent the whole range of ground orchids. Have a great weekend!! Masih Raya? ~bangchik

  22. I have the purple growing in a pot, purchased from a garden center, no identification. When the weather warms, I plan to divide it and plant some of it in the ground to see just how hardy it is.

  23. Beautiful collection, Autumn Belle! I hope they can survive here too. Lovely colors!

  24. Hi, I stumbled upon your blog on blotanical and thought I'd pop you a comment.

    I absolutely love this plant. I grow several species of terrestrial orchids here in the UK that are native and suited to our climate, although this one is likely to be off the garden menu.

    Keep up the good work and I hope you get a chance to visit my blog and see some of the orchids I grow.


  25. especially lovely with the accompanying pink foliage

  26. Wonderful pictures of exquisite orchids.
    Thank you for your visits, comments and featuring my Guildwood garden blog on your website.
    I am very pleased to see a Canadian blog listed in your country. The cyber world is a small after all.
    - Cheers Gisela.

  27. Orchids growing in your garden - how lucky are you? I buy them but they die all too quickly.
    Great post

  28. You have a beautiful garden. I like those orchids. I have few orchids and I can't wait to see them bloom again. Great shots.

  29. Magnificent. I look forward to looking through your blog.

  30. What a beautiful ground orchids...
    and you make them looks more beautiful :)

  31. Oh, my gosh! I really love your orchids! I am an Orchid grower myself and I just enjoy taking care of them. It relaxes me after a hard day's work in the office.

  32. Hi MY Nice Garden Blog owner, do you mind to sell me few seeds of magenta or pinkish purple Spathoglottis plicata in your garden by normal post ship to kepong menjalara? Is it your orchid looks like this:紫苞舌蘭 which is also named as 紫苞舌蘭 or 白芨蘭 in Chinese or another name Bletilla striata?I'm looking to plant this at home.

    1. Awen, Im sorry that I don't have any Spathoglottis plicata seeds to sell. You can buy these orchids at the local nurseries such as those in Sg Buloh.


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