Rare Orchid flowers at Aberglasney after rescue mission





Aberglasney Head Gardener Joseph Atkin tells the story of how a rare Orchid has flowered at the Tywi Valley gardens -

Three years ago I had a call to say that Liverpool Botanic Gardens were closing some old glasshouses and rationalising their plant collections which included Orchids and Clivia.
They kindly offered me the chance to take some of the plants back to Aberglasney as they were bound for homelessness and a rather gruesome end.
So at 4.30am the next morning I was on my way to Liverpool in a hire van to collect/save what I could.
On arrival, I found all sorts of treasures that would suit our Ninfarium and promptly filled the van to its rafters.
This was followed by some really hard decisions about what I could and couldn’t take as there wasn’t enough room in the van.
After much deliberation this Orchid Dendrobium speciosum made it onto the van as the last plant. This week I was overjoyed to see it bursting into full flower for the first time.
This is some achievement for both the gardeners and the plant after its perilous journey.
Many of the other plants that came to the gardens via this trip have also done very well in the Ninfarium.
Dendrobium speciosum is an Australian Orchid that is quite wide spread it is epiphytic growing on trees but also rocks with large trusses of fragrant white flower in their hundreds.
It is commonly known as the King Orchid, and the somewhat misleading Rock Lily.
It was originally named by Sir James Edward Smith (1759–1828) from a specimen found at Port Jackson and sent to him by Surgeon General J White.
As a plant it has had quite an adventure and we are just really happy that we rescued it.


Joseph Atkin
Head Gardener
Aberglasney Restoration Trust, Aberglasney Gardens, Llangathen, Carmarthen, SA32 8QH

Comments

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