This is a small to medium sized clumping Coelogyne producing about 5 to 15 attractive off-white flowers and yellow/brown markings. The flower spikes drop straight downwards, so the pot needs to be hung. The spikes are produced over a number of weeks which gives a longer flowering period. An additional attraction comes from the flowers having a pleasant cereal hay perfume.

Coelogyne swaniana, from Malaysia, is found from sea level to 2000m up in forests. Therefore, it is a bit adaptable but needs high humidity and water and glasshouse conditions anywhere outside the tropics. With this background, frosts must be totally avoided.

It was named by Robert Rolf in 1894 in honour of a British artist J.M. Swan. It is another Coelogyne that has been hiding in the back wings for a long time!

Negatives: Apart from needing to avoid cold areas, Coelogyne swaniana is in competition with several other similar species, including Coel flaccida, Coel tomentosa, Coel pulverula, Coel moultonii and Coel rochussenii - all of which are very closely related. Also, the flowers of most of these will last longer than the average two weeks of Coelogyne swaniana. The off-white colouring may not be as appealing as some other Coelogynes if space is really scarce.

Rating: ♦♦♦ Despite the seemingly long list of negatives it is still an attractive and desirable orchid and because it is small it should be grabbed if you have the opportunity.

Varieties: None known

Hybrids: None known or registered yet.

< Coel stricta Coel tomentosa >