Visitors may be surprised to find the largest orchid blossoming at the Shade Plant Garden of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) these days. This is the first time that the tiger orchid (scientific name: Grammatophyllum speciosum) came to blossom at the garden.
Grammatophyllum speciosum is a large, clumping, epiphytic orchid. Its stem is 3 m or longer, and up to 5 cm thick. It is also the largest orchid species in the world. It is uncommon to find in nature and a difficult plant to cultivate because of its large size. It is often grown as an ornamental orchid in gardens and parks for its attractive foliage and large flowers.
The blossoming largest orchid in XTBG is G. speciosum f. flavum. It was introduced from Thailand in 2018. It comes to blossom in July 2023 for the first time.
Grammatophyllum speciosum is an epiphytic and occasionally a lithophytic plant, forming spectacular root bundles. 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.
Tiger orchid blossoming at Shade Plant Garden of XTBG.
G. speciosum f. flavum at XTBG.
largest orchid blossoming at XTBG.