A strap-leaved intergeneric vandaceous orchid that brings together the best of two beautiful species.
I have a soft spot for vandaceous orchids that are a cross between two species that cannot be more dissimilar. Rhynchorides Memoria Suranaree brings together the best of two popular favourites – Rhynchostylis coelestis and Aerides lawrenciae.
Rhyn coelestis is a small and compact species with a strong, upright spike of cylindrically arranged flowers while Aerides lawrenceae is large, robust, and puts out spectacular pendulous spikes of white-pink flowers.
What comes out of this merger is an attractive ‘in-between’: Rhyn Memoria Suranaree is manageably sized, with broad strap-leaves like Aerides lawrenciae, and produces pink-fringed, fragrant flowers with spurs. The inflorescence (or ‘spike’) point upwards like that of Rhyn coelestis but eventually bends somewhat horizontally when the flowers mature.
The plant has handsome leaves with thick, robust roots that become more adventurous when showers are abundant.
I used to grow mine in a plastic pot with large pieces of charcoal but have since done away with any media because of mealy bugs in the roots. The plant now sits happily in an empty pot under medium shade, gets watered daily and fertilised regularly.