Coelogyne lentiginosa, from Vietnam and Burma, has very cute, small flowers with very clear markings that give it an almost cheeky look. Although it was described way back in 1854 it has never made the grade as a popular orchid. There are several reasons for this. The flowers are small (not a problem on its own!), the sepals and petals are a dull green which mutes the very attractive lip colouring, there aren't many flowers per spike, the flowers are produced well below the leaves, and finally, it faces stiff competition from very similar, but larger, flowers such as Coelogyne assamica.

The above accumulation of comments may sound very damning but this is not the case. The flowers are so fresh and attractive that it is an easy Coelogyne to find a home for. It is really easy to grow in a frost-free, humid and moist environment.

Negatives: The small number of flowers and their size compared to the plant's size make it difficult for it to compete for previous space in the glasshouse.

Rating: ♦♦♦ It is an attractive orchid but just out-gunned by others. You won't regret collecting it if you have room.

Varieties: None known


1. Coelogyne Lentil Soup - using Coelogyne speciosa as the pod parent (K Karge Orchideengarten - Aug 2015).

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