This weeks Lensday assignment is: Beautiful. You can click the picture for a larger view.
Although labelled as Stanhopea Occulata when I purchased it many years ago, I suspect it is actually a cross with Occulata, rather than Occulata itself. The flowers are a soft sulphur yellow where other specimens Ive seen are white. Either way, this is one of my favourite orchids.
Unlike most plants, Stanhopea blooms from the base of the plant. This means that it must be grown in a basket with medium which will allow the flower stem to emerge. I line the basket with coconut fibre and use a standard orchid bark medium.
I grow mine hanging in a bottlebrush (Callistemon) tree near my front door, and it blooms for me in March each year. (Which proves again you don’t need a greenhouse to grow orchids.) The blossoms last only a few short days, but are truly worth a years wait.