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Pleione x Versailles Bucklebury    Pleione Shantung form

Pleiones are a range of terrestrial and epiphytic orchid species that come from Southeast Asia and even into the Himilayas. By understanding a few basic requirements they are easy to cultivate. They are shallow rooting plants best grown in groups in an open airy mix, with protection from frosts, especially when they are in flower.

Climate (natural): Warm wet Summers. Winter cool and dry (some have snow). (No leaves or live roots).

Cultivation: 1: Do not over water in Spring - to encourage roots to search for moisture.

2: Keep well watered and fed during growing season once roots have developed. Do not give check by allowing them to dry out.

3: Rest in Winter with low temperature and dry conditions.

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The Growing Calendar:

July: Divide and pot. Leave mix damp only. Do not water until buds appear.

Aug: Buds appear end of month. Begin watering a little. (when flowerbuds are 20mm long bulbs can be refrigerated for up to 6 weeks and will flower 3 weeks after potting)

Sept: Airy conditions. Benefit from ventilation when in growth. they need 30% shade.

Oct: As flowers fade foliage grows quick. Remove spent flowers to encourage vegetation growth.

Nov-Feb: Cool semi-shade humid. Keep mix well watered.

Apr-May: As leaves turn yellow, reduce watering. 3 weeks leaves brown and fall off.

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Varieties Growing:

Alishan: versailes x fomosana, seedlings (4)
Blush of Dawn: Still under evaluation.
Collosus: "" "' " "
Cutie: 96 George Fuller. White selection with good yellow markings. Large green pseudobulbs.
Deep Pink: Evalution variety.
formosana: Plants Galore form. 95.
" " type: Ridge Orchids form 95.actually 2 types- one with nice long lip and other more ordinary like Lilac Beauty.
formosana hybrid, Ridge Orchids. Not serenity, one of the best in the whole collection. Broad, deep coloured petals and lilac on the outside of the trumpet.
Gemini: George Fuller rates this as a second rate variety.
Harberd's X: White with yellow markings on the lip.
Hekla: speciosa x humilis. first out in spring 96. Violet pink petals curving downward and red frilly lip. G.F. sayes this variety can be touchy to grow.
Iris: . G.F. 2nd rate variety.
Lilac Beauty: Lilac lip, pale throat, wing petals deeper with pale central band.
limprichtii: This variety is hard to grow. Not flowered yet.
Oriental Grace: Rose-violet with pale rose lip marked with brown and yellow.
Oriental Splendour: Under evaluation.
Phylis Every: 96 George Fuller. good selection of George's.
Polar Sun:(misnamed)- 95 Bay Bloom. First flowered 96 with white wings and tube but throat rose and overlaid with yellow frills. Similar in variety to Lucy Diamond, except for bulb colour.
Pukekura Surprise: Under evaluation.
Serenity: 95 Plants Galore. Incorrect name when compared to Blue Mountain plant.
Shantung Miki: P. formosana x P. confusa, well formed creamy yellow with pink tonings.
Soufriere: P. xVersailles x P. Confusa. Pale rose purple with pale lip heavily marked red.
Torbay: From George Fuller. Another of his selections.Highly rated.
Versailles: P. formosana x P. limprichtii. Deep rose-pink with paler lip spotted brick red and white lamellae. Will flower from small pseudobulbs.This form has possibly been named.
Versailles Buckleberry: Deep rose pink with lip spotted brick red. The first named pleione hybrid, easy to grow and very free flowering.
X Vesuvius Tiger Fire: P. bulbocodioides x P. confusa. Strong growing variety with bright heavily spotted lips.

The help of Denis Hughes and George Fuller in compiling the information on this page is greatly appreciated.

Denis Hughes is a second generation nurseryman who operates the family nursery, (Blue Mountain Nurseries, Tapanui, New Zealand, email: and is the main supplier of pleiones in New Zealand.They are willing to supply overseas customers but this involves certain costs which must be passed on.

George Fuller MBE, is retired curator of Pukekura Park and a Founding and Life member as well as Patron of the Taranaki Orchid Society. He trained at Sanders (St Albans) Ltd, which was one of the UK's leading orchid nurseries, from 1947-51. He also spent 2 1/2 years at Kew gardens.

Pleione fomosana       Pleione limprichtii  UK Pleione nursery
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