Plant Description

Zygopetalum species

Greenish-yellow form of Zygopetalum

This is an unusual orchid that grows well in frost-free Sydney gardens (ht 45-60 cm). There around 15 species and a number of cultivars of these evergreen epiphytes, which hail from Central and South America. The exotic-looking flowers are fragrant and marked with intriguing spots and stripes of maroon or purple, and they appear in flushes up to six times a year, but most profusely in autumn or early winter. One species is Zygopetalum mackaii, which has brown-spotted, green flowers with purple-veined white lips. Zygopetalum intermedium has waxy greenish-yellow flowers blotched with reddish-brown or crimson.

They are best grown in a spot with part or dappled shade, with protection from the afternoon sun. However, they can tolerate winter sun. They can be grown in a pot or basket filled with orchid bark, or affixed to a tree, using a stocking filled with orchid bark as a pouch to hold the plant until it affixes itself to the trunk. Water the plants regularly and give occasional sprays of liquid fertiliser. Propagation is by division of the 'pseudobulbs'.


Zygopetalum species
Suitable for Cut Flowers.
Out now in my Sydney garden.
Flowers Apr, May, Jun, Jly, Oct
Plant Family: Orchidaceae

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