CALANTHE

FAMILY: Orchidaceae

TYPE
  • Flowers
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
  • Full Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water

Plant Details

Orchids are reputed to be difficult, but the following hardy terrestrial types from Japan are easy to grow if given moist, woodsy, well-drained soil and partial to full shade. Lush leaves of most types have an attractively pleated look. Their sensational blooms often bear a clovelike scent. Plants may be late to emerge in spring.

C. discolor. Evergreen or semievergreen. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. Dark green, heavily pleated leaves are 612 in. long, 2 in. wide and form a clump to 1 ft. across. In midspring, small, fragrant mahogany flowers with a white or pale pink lower lip appear on 1- to 112-ft.-tall stalks. The Takane hybrids have yellow flowers marked with brown, gold, white, and red.

C. Kozu hybrids. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. These hybrids between C. discolor and C. izu-insularis are largely evergreen. Dark green leaves, 46 in. long and 12 in. wide, form a foliage clump to about 8 in. tall and wide. In spring, foot-tall flower spikes are covered in clove-scented flowers; blossoms come in red, pink, white, and yellow, in both solid colors and bicolor combinations.

C. reflexa. Evergreen. Zones MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9. Narrow, pleated leaves to 68 in. long, about 112 in. wide form a clump to 1 ft. tall, 15 in. wide. Unlike most other species, this one blooms in mid- to late summer, when lightly fragrant lavender-and-white flowers appear on 112-ft.-tall spikes.

C. striata (C. discolor sieboldii). Zones MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9. Resembles C. discolor but has clear yellow flowers in even greater profusion.

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