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Hardy Orchid Bletilla striata

Other plants called Hardy Orchid:

Phonetic Spelling
bleh-TIL-ah stry-AY-tah
Description

The Chinese Ground Orchid is a terrestrial, perennial flowering bulb in the orchid family that grows to a height of 1 to 1 1/2 feet and spreads about 1 foot wide. It is native of the grassy slopes of central and southern Japan and the cool mountain slopes of China. This plant is a great addition to a partial shade area of the garden with moderate moisture and substantial organic matter in the soil. Its beautiful, fan-like pleated leaves are showy in the spring through the summer. In addition, this plant produces orchid-like, downward-facing purple flowers. The genus name honors Luis Blet, a Spanish apothecary who had a botanic garden in Algeciras, a city in the Cadiz region of Spain, towards the end of the 18th century. The specific epithet, striata, means striped.

The Chinese Ground Orchid requires damp, well-drained, often enriched, soil and prefers a sheltered site in light shade. It does not tolerate wet soils. This plant may not be reliably winter hardy through very cold winters. Apply a good organic mulch in the late autumn or lift the bulbs and store them dry in a frost free place for planting in spring, no more than 4 inches deep in the soil. The flowers are produced from corm-like pseudo-bulbs which serve as nutrient storage for overwintering. After flowering, continue to provide regular moisture to plants for the remainder of the growing season. This plant makes a good container plant for zones north of USDA Zone 5. For propagation, division can be done in the fall. Orchids, in general, are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid.

Diseases, Insect Pests, Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or pests. Slugs and snails are an occasional problem.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#perennials#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#shade garden#spring flowers#interesting leaves#Japanse garden#division#orchid#groundcover#rock garden#spring interest#partial shade tolerant#woodland garden#container plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#perennials#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#shade garden#spring flowers#interesting leaves#Japanse garden#division#orchid#groundcover#rock garden#spring interest#partial shade tolerant#woodland garden#container plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Bletilla
    Species:
    striata
    Family:
    Orchidaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The hyacinth orchid is an important wound herb in China.
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    East Asia, China to Central and Southern Japan
    Bulb Storage:
    Store corms in a cool, dry place.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 7 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Irregular
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    This plant has small, cattleya orchid-like purplish-pink (or deep rose or white) flowers on raceme atop naked scapes typically rising to 18 inches spring to early summer. This plant produces orchid-like, downward-facing purple flowers. Its sprays of orchid-like flowers add special appeal.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Papery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    This plant has 3-5 pale green, 12 inch long swordlike leaves with shallow pleats produced from pseudobulb. Beautiful, fan-like, pleated leaves are showy. Foliage dies back in the winter.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Specimen