Phaius tankervilleae, Chinese Ground Orchid, Nun Orchid

Phaius tankervilleae

Chinese Ground Orchid, Nun Orchid
Family: Orchidaceae
Origin: Southern China, North India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and the Pacific Islands
Groundcover and low-growing 2ft plantSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterRed, crimson, vinous flowersWhite, off-white flowersPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirdsFragrant plant

This orchid has established itself throughout the Islands mostly in moist forests. This plant forms large clumps with inflorescences as tall as four feet bearing 10-20 fragrant flowers, opening up in succession. Sword shaped leaves develop as the tall inflorescens of white, rose and brown flowers reaches full bloom in the late spring. The species produces a new plant on a short bulb-like runner every year and flowers magnificently during March and April. It prefers the shade of trees and can take a long dry period before the flowering season. Use it for mass plantings or as a speciment in part shade. It is also good used as a potted plant.

See video about Ground Orchids.

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