Bletilla Striata, Big Bob
This relatively easy-to-grow orchid produces slender, pleated leaves. In late spring, arching stems of 5cm (2″), rose-lavender blooms with white and dark lavender highlights appear. Flower spikes are reported to reach 90cm (36 inches) but may be difficult to achieve. A real curiosity and although fairly hardy, it may be grown in a pot to overwinter inside where winters are extremely cold. If left outside over winter, beware of late spring frosts, and cover the emerging leaves if necessary. Also give it a try as a houseplant in a bright room. At its best in a cool, woodland situation where the rhizomes can slowly spread. Flowers are occasionally white. Interesting fact: North America has at least 20 native genera of cold tolerant orchids with this selection from William Mathias of the Wild Orchid Company. Zone 5-9 Dark Pink color flower.
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