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Calanthe 'Kozu Spice'

Common Name(s):

Description

Calanthe 'Kozu Spice', or Kozu Spice orchid, is an evergreen to semi-evergreen orchid with showy two-colored flowers in combinations of red and yellow, red and white, or pink and red. 'Kozu Spice' is a member of the Orchidaceae family and is the primary hybrid of the seed parent Calanthe discolor and the pollen parent Calanthe izu-insularis. The cultivar 'Kozu Spice' was originated by K. Karasawa in 1996, and the pollen parent Calanthe izu-insularis is now a virtually extinct species native to the Izu Islands in Japan, which is also the home of the more plentiful Calanthe discolor. Calanthe comes from the Greek word “Kalos”, meaning beautiful, and “Anthos”, meaning flower.

'Kozu Spice' is grown as a perennial in zones 7a  to 9b, and, with proper winter protection, can survive up to zone 6. Its leaves may be minutely pubescent, as both of its parents have pubescent leaves. In all but the coldest winters, ‘Kozu Spice’ is evergreen, though its leaves may be ragged in spring. ‘Kozu Spice’ fits nicely along with hosta, trillium, and ferns in a moist semi-shaded area. For best results, mix native soil with plenty of compost, peat, and sand to create a well-draining open gritty mix that will retain moisture and provide good air in the soil. There is generally no need for fertilizer unless indicated by a soil test. Spread the roots wide apart and plant with the crown even to the top of the soil, or slightly below. Beware not to plant the crown too far below the soil as this could cause crown rot. Water well between April and September and surround with 2 to 4 inches of mulch after the first freeze. In climates colder than zone 7b, it may be possible to overwinter in the garden if a heavy layer (up to 10”) of leaves is applied. When grown outdoors, the plant prefers shaded spots and can tolerate full shade.

Healthy plants could expand to a 12” clump that may be lifted and divided from winter to early spring. If planting ‘Kozu Spice’ in a container, bring indoors to a cool portion of the home in winter where it will not freeze. During spring clean-up, leave the damaged winter-worn leaves to die out naturally to safeguard from viruses. After blooming, deadheading will prevent seed production that can reduce future blooming. Calanthe pollination biology remains largely unknown. Scientific studies report pollination of C. izu-insularis and C. discolor would possibly occur by means of small solitary bees, such as a sweat bee. Though neither C. izu-insularis nor C. discolor provide nectar, they attract pollinators by deceptive mechanisms.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No known disease or insect problems. Removing old leaves may invite virus, so they are best left to die naturally.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#container plant#perennial bulb#colorful#spring flowers#orchid#flowering houseplant#flowering
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#container plant#perennial bulb#colorful#spring flowers#orchid#flowering houseplant#flowering
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Calanthe
    Family:
    Orchidaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Orchid rhizomes can be ground into a powder called salep and used as flour. The flowers can be used as a garnish, generally on salads. Some cultures consider orchid bulbs an aphrodisiac.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Izu Islands, Japan
    Distribution:
    Worldwide except for Antarctica
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts pollinators using deceptive mechanisms.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The 8"-12" flower stalk bears racemes of 10 to 25 richly bi-color, three lobed, 3/4" to 1 1/2 " lipped flowers that can be in combinations of red/white, yellow/red, or pink/red. The bottom row of the bloom has five petals of one color, and the center petals are a different color. The blooms resemble miniature nodding daffodils and have a pleasant clove-like aroma.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    In spring, 2-4 leaves emerge erect (similar to a lily) in clustered pairs that are sheathed, pleated, and leathery. Leaves are 8 to 11 inches long and 2 inches wide. In milder areas, leaves are evergreen, though in some areas, foliage may be tattered. Leaves may be solid green, or green with white speckles.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    flowering stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Naturalized Area
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Diseases
    Drought
    Insect Pests