August 5, 2011

Neofinetia falcata

Neofinetia falcata is an epiphytic orchid native to Japan. The "Samurai Orchid" has been long treasured by Japanese royalty for it's foliage and fragrance.  Samurai warriors would travel for miles in search for this tiny orchid to bring back to the royal court. This species is still held in the highest regard today, with some cultivars commanding prices in the thousands of dollars. In Japan this orchid is commonly known as Fu-ran "The Wind Orchid" or Fuki-ran which means "Rich and Noble Orchid". This wonderfully fragrant orchid can fill a room with it's vanilla-like scent, especially at dawn and dusk. For this reason it is my favorite orchid to grow. 

The plant can be grown in a small pot or mounted on cork or hardwood. It grows slowly, but they have strong vital energy. The best place for Neofinetia falcata is a shady and airy place. They need at least 50% shade. It is a hardy plant that can handle very cold temperatures in the winter as long as it's kept dry, and hot temperatures in the summer as long as it's wet. They usually flower in the end of summer into fall.

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