Friday, January 8, 2010

Stanhopea graveolens var aurata

Here is an introduction to one of the stanhopea’s in my collection – stanhopea graveolens var aurata. It’s one of the oldest recorded graveolens’s varieties, discovered in 1850’s in Guatemala and unfortunately, not many plants of this variety currently in cultivation.

What’s interesting about this variety is that flowers change colors as they mature – when flower unfolds, the color is while/ pale yellow with dark yellow centre and a few spots, but as the flower gets older, in a couple of days, it changes into deep dark, rich apricot hue. The scent is very strong and spicy, rather complicated, with many pungent undertones of clove, cinnamon, and all spice. The flowers appear delicate and light, but actually quite tough and waxy.

It’s one of the rare varieties in the stanhopea world and a beautiful and special orchid to have and to admire.

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