Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hardy Orchids

My first passion when I started getting into plants and growing was Orchids. One might call this an obsession. I quickly amassed a nice collection of tropical oddities and attempted to grow them under a HID light in our living room. My interest in orchids quickly moved to some of the rarest and hardest types to grow, hardy orchids. or as most are known; terrestrial orchids. Terrestrial orchids inhabit many of the temperate areas of the world including the US. I soon learned that many species grew in our state here in CA. Below are two natives that are a must for any native garden and anyone interested in terrestrial orchids. Epipactis gigantea is native to CA and inhabits the side of stream beds typically growing in very sandy soil in full sun. 'Serpentine Night' is a cultivar selected by Roger Raiche, it has dark purple foliage. Both varieties are easy to grow in the perennial garden. They actually do very well in pots. They will continue to grow and send shoots out the drain holes. Epipactis like a well drained mix that does not dry out completely.