Pronunciation: (aer-ai-dees)
Family: Air Plant, Foxtail Orchid, ORCHIDACEAE

As you might expect from both botanical and popular names, Aerides is epiphytic — several dozen species of epiphytic orchids, all except one from Southeast Asia. Away from home, they are rarely seen outside specialist collections for they are very particular about temperature requirements, demanding at least 16C/60F even on winter nights.

However, if this luxury can be provided, they’ll delight with a mass of bloom in early spring. The inflorescence is quite showy with all flowers opening at once — in the illustrated waxen white with a violet lip.

Acrides prefer dappled shade and are often grown in baskets or pierced pots filled with osmunda or coconut fibre. Most Aerides species are fragrant, require regular misting.

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ACANTHUS