The largest of the Aerides orchids, Aerides lawrenceae is a robust species with fragrant, waxy flowers on drooping racemes.
And how large is largest, you may ask? This impressive Aerides lawrenceae 4N specimen at the Perak Orchid Society’s 50th anniversary show may give you some idea.
Carrying multiple lead plants that span as long as 5 feet or more, this Aerides lawrenceae was an exceptional ‘monster’. Hung at a bright edge under natural skylight among vandaceous orchids, its owner, Robert Ang who was more than happy to explain to me that show rules require all of the orchid’s offshoots to be intact for a specimen qualification. Should any one of its plantlets be cut off as a division, it immediately disqualifies its specimen entry.
That’s a bit of a shame, because I bet a lot of people would pay huge dollars for a cutting.
There were at least eight racemes bearing multiple fragrant pink-splashed flowers with spurs typical for the genus.
The ‘4N’ indicates that it’s a tetrapoid – a plant that gets double the set of chromosomes of a conventional plant (or something like that). 4N orchids apparently, have bigger flowers and better vigour. I might need to get myself some 4Ns.
Aerides lawrenceae comes from the warm lowland forests of the Philippines. It grows in dappled sunlight and is best hung due to it’s pendulous nature. Feed it regularly with a balance 20-20-20 fertiliser and under ideal conditions, it will live up to its name as being the largest of the genus, Aerides in no time.