Most of us aren’t aware of it, but there are many orchids that are fragrant! A lot of species pair stunning beauty with pleasant scents.
Let’s focus on lovely fragrant orchid with our selection of delicious-smelling fragrances.
- Discover: all about orchids
Stanhopea wardii, a hanging orchid with a scent of summer
In summer, large 5-inch flowers (12 cm) appear, displaying reversed red-spotted yellow petals and sepals. From them, a heady, fabulous scent wafts out.
The blooming is particularly abundant when you can guarantee a 15°F (10°C) variation in temperature between night and day.
Phalenopsis ‘Sweet Memory’, scented in warm weather
From among the most fragrant orchids, the ‘Sweet Memory’ stands out with a thick, star-shaped flower that releases its fragrance when it gets hot. This species also boasts another unique trait: leaves are very wide, and a fresh, bright green color.
Cymbidium atropurpureum, a long-lasting scented orchid
Its fascinating flowers are a sharp purple color, clashing with a labellum that’s white with red spots. A sweet fragrance adds even more appeal!
Bolster blooming of this sweet flower with a lot of light, and again a strong drop in temperatures between night and day.
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Cattleya intermedia ‘Alba’, fragrant but hard to grow
In an ideal environment, Cattleya intermedia ‘Alba’ produces large, very odoriferous white flowers over the course of spring.
Trigger this exceptional flowering with bright light and strong temperature jumps between night (60°F / 15°C) and day (70-75°F / 20-25°F).
Epidendrum stamfordianum ‘Galaxy’, a very fragrant starry orchid
They’re of course very ornamental, with a waxy touch and yellow, purple-mottled livery. All in all, it’ll droop down more than 3 feet (1 meter), so hang it accordingly for flowers to be appreciated!
Another defining characteristic is that it’s a part-sun orchid.
It’s also simply called “Epidendrum orchid”.
Acineta superba ‘Monique’, a sturdy forest-smelling orchid
Acineta superba ‘Monique’ is a resilient orchid that produces hanging clusters of flowers. They’re usually tan with uncountable tiny white spots.
Their surprising scent is similar to that of lush growth in forest underbrush. This orchid also appreciates relatively low temperatures.
Osmoglossum pulchellum, a fragrance similar to lily-of-the-nile
The winter blooming of Osmoglossum pulchellum releases a pleasant smell similar to that of Lily-of-the-Nile.
In a lean-in or in a room without much heating, it produces cute white flowers, staged along 2-foot (50 cm) flower scape.
Rhynchostylis retusa ‘Jairak’, a powerfully scented orchid
The tight flower clusters, with white and purple-spotted blooms, of the Rhynchostylis retusa ‘Jairak’ orchid will spread a heady fragrance throughout the house in the springtime.
With its long, hanging flower scape, this orchid is best grown in a hanging pot, and always in full light.
Angraecum longicalcar, a rare night-blooming scent
Very rare, Angraecum longicalcar is a vigorous orchid that produces surprising white flowers equipped with a green spur that’s nearly 2 feet long (50-60 cm) long! Surprising flowers indeed, delivering a fresh night-like scent.
Angraecum longicalcar is an orchid that needs a setting that’s both well-lit and warm 68-75°F (20 à 24 °C).
A few smelling orchids… that are real stinkers!
Some orchids of the Bulbophyllum group release an unpleasant smell. Bulbophyllum beccari , for instance, exhales an odor not unlike that of runny old cheese, whereas Bulbophyllum echinolabium smells like horse manure, and Bulbophyllum putridum will make you search around the house for a dead rat.
But these aren’t the only stinkers of the orchid realm! Masdevallia flowers come a close second, if not first… For example, the orchid called Masdevallia colossus also has a stomach-turning smell of rotting flesh, and Masdevallia triangularis reminds of overgrown mold.
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