Dendrobium crumenatum, alias pigeon orchid

A tropical downpour and a sudden drop of temperature. That is all this orchid needs to prepare for showtime. Its stealthy buds start swelling and swelling. About eight days later hundreds of pigeon-like flowers flutter along the pseudobulbs. Their sweet fragrance is everywhere in the area where the orchid has caught its cold. If they bloom in your garden, you know they do the same elsewhere. Unfortunately, the party is over in one day. But with a bit of luck another chilling rain might fall soon.

February 2012, by Karolien Bais



Plants can be equally striking for their smell or stench, their stubbornness or benevolence, their secrecy or exuberance. Whatever their features, they can make my day.
Here are some of my doozies. The list might well become very long.

Couroupita guianensis, alias cannonball tree

Dendrobium crumenatum, alias pigeon orchid

Amherstia nobilis, alias Pride of Burma

Gloriosa superba, alias juju lily

Eucharis grandiflora, alias Amazon lily

Murraya koenigii, alias curry leaf

Scadoxus multiflorus, alias blood lily

Rothmannia longiflora, alias ivory trumpet

Furcraea selloa, alias false agave

Tacca chantrieri, alias bat flower

Bauhinia pottsii, alias orchid tree