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Orchidaceae   
Grammatophyllum
 
speciosum
Blume
Tiger Orchid, Giant Orchid nicht bekannt ว่านเพชรหึง   - (phonetic) -   wan ped cha hung
Southeastasia

Grammatophyllum speciosum is one of the largest orchid in the world. It grows in the tree top epiphytic or sometimes lithophyt (on stones). It forms a vast network of roots. In their natural habitat, this species of orchid grow into a huge formation of several hundred pounds.

This species has  upright, protruding or hanging shoot axes with leaves, which can be up to 7 meters long.The inflorescences are without leaves and can also be several meters long. They carry about 80 and more flowers, which can be up to 10 cm in size and has a delicate fragrance. The flowers are yellow in color with reddish brown or dark red spots. This pattern is reminiscent of characters, from where the name Grammatophyllum derives, gramma = letter and the word phyllon = leaf. The English name "Tiger Orchid" also derives from the pattern of the flower. 

The lowest arranged flowers on the inflorescence are often not fully developed, as they have no lip and sepal. These flowers open first. The orchid blooms only once every two to four years. For this, the flowers are quite durable. In general, you can enjoy about 2 months at the flowers. Grammatophyllum  in Thailand blooms in August and September.

Before Grammatophyllum speciosum blooming the very first time, they must be adult, which is achieved in about 4-5 years.

This orchid needs a full sun. It is one of the few orchid species that thrive in full sun. The water requirement is average. Since you can keep this orchid because of its size also in the tropics outdoors only, for adult orchids the natural rainfall is sufficient. Exceptions are extremely long periods of drought.

Young plants should be poured with rain water every 8 - 10 days. The excess water needs to drainage well to avoid waterlogging.

It is not necessary to spray with water like other orchids requires, since the Gammatophyllum speciosum  does not need so high humidity.

Because of the size of the orchid it is recommended to put the young plant on a suitable tree stump of hardwood (Attention:Termites !) on which the orchid can spread through the years. Cylindrical foundations built with mortar or concrete rings are suitable as well.

An attitude in pots or tubs does not make sense. It would require some effort and exertion to repot this heavyweight.

Propagation: by division. 3 shoot axes should be divided off at least and immediately transplanted newly.

Grammatophyllum speciosum - Flower not fully developed

 

Grammatophyllum speciosum 

Grammatophyllum speciosum (photo: Baan Khun Orathai)

Grammatophyllum speciosum 

Grammatophyllum speciosum  young plant 

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