Uncommon in collections (possibly because of its huge price!), Coelogyne calcicola is far more than a collector's plant, but, as beautiful as it is, has trouble competing with the other attractive white Coelogynes. It comes from areas between 1000m and 1500m in China and the northern parts of Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Burma. Cool to warm is best and it grows on trees and limestone rocks (I have never bothered adding lime to my coco husk media). Avoid direct frosts, provide partial shade and water well. Mine has grown well in an unheated glasshouse with minimum temperatures close to zero.

Coelogyne calcicola is very similar in general appearance to Coelogyne stricta but the growth pattern is a little more refined than the massive rhizomes and psuedobulbs of Coel stricta. Nevertheless, Coel calcicola is a strong rambling plant and impossible to contain in a normal round pot (note the rectangular pot in the above image). It is best grown in a long pot or on a long mount - bearing in mind that mounts dry very quickly and need more frequent watering. Mounts may need to be kept in a separated area to make this watering easier and to avoid over-watering surrounding plants. It is very hardy and easy to grow if you have plenty of room.

Negatives: Its 5 - 6 flowers, of about 4 or 5 cm, don't open completely fully and some of the beautiful orange/brown/yellow colours aren't displayed to their best. There is a lot of plant for the amount of flower. The high cost of this plant is a negative and its growth habit also demands special attention.

Rating: ♦♦♦

Sometimes sold as: No other labels

Varieties: None known


1. Coelogyne Kirribilli John Davies (Kevin Dawes 2016) using Coelogyne fragrans as the pollen parent.

2. Coelogyne Kirribilli Jimmy (Kevin Dawes 2018) using Coelogyne mooreana 'Brockhurst' as the pollen parent.

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