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Pleione forrestii, photo courtesy of Marcus Harpur/Harpur Garden Images
Pleione forrestii, photo courtesy of Marcus Harpur/Harpur Garden Images

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Zone
Zones 5-9, 14-24
Partial Sun
Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Pleione

Orchidaceae
Orchids and bromeliads, Flowers

Dwarf orchids native to highmountains of India and China.Many species, all deciduous.Each pseudobulb produces oneor two narrowly oval, pleated-lookingleaves; leaves reach 8 in.long in the biggest species.Flowers are large (3–4 in. wide)for the size of the plant andresemble small cattleyas; theyusually appear just as theleaves begin to show in earlyspring. Blossoms of P. bulbocodioidesare purple with a whitelip marked with reddish spots.Those of P. formosana are purple,pink, or white; fringed liphas yellow center with brownishred markings. Those of P. forrestiiare yellow; fringed lip hasred markings.

Where frosts are rare andsummer temperatures moderate,these orchids can be grownoutdoors all year—provided theyhave perfect drainage, rich soilthat is moist and well aerated,and some winter protection(shelter from excessive rain).Usually grown in rock gardensor in pots. For a good show,plant pseudobulbs closetogether. If planting in theground, bury pseudobulbs, leavingjust the tips exposed; orplant in a shallow pot and buryonly the bottom quarter of eachpseudobulb. Repot yearlybefore growth begins.

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