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AERIDES quinquevulnera

Image of Aerides quinquevulnera

Michael Charters, www.calflora.net

Family

Orchidaceae

Botanical Name

AERIDES quinquevulnera

Plant Common Name

Aerides, Orchid

General Description

The graceful aerides-with-five-wounds orchid bears a fragrant drooping cluster of small, ivory and fuchsia-violet spotted blossoms in summer and autumn. A large evergreen epiphytic orchid, this species is native to forested tropical highlands of Malaysia and the Philippines. It grows from a short pseudobulb with dangling aerial roots that clasp to tree trunks for support.

The medium green leaves are leathery and strap-like with two lobes at their ends. In early summer into fall, a long drooping flower cluster forms from the tip of the fan-like cluster of wavy leaves. The cluster has many blossoms that are sweetly scented. Each is ivory with many tiny fuchsia-violet spots. Five dominant spots of the same purplish color accent all five of the petals/sepals. Natural varieties of this species include more yellow flowers, all white, or nearly solid plum-violet flowers.

Grow Aerides houlletiana in nearly full sun to very bright partial shade mounted upon a tree branch, in a wide-grate or basket. With its long roots, it requires a very open breakable basket that will permit repositioning into a larger basket or tree mount. Take care not to damage roots when transplanting. This is a tropical orchid, so it requires a warm, frost-free location. It grows without soil with its roots exposed. High humidity, excellent air circulation, and frequent rainfall from spring through fall is ideal. Allow the plant to become drier and receive more light in autumn and winter. From spring to fall, apply diluted liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks. Leaves can scorch in hot afternoon sun, especially with low ambient humidity. Leaves also become overly yellow-green when light is too intense and lack of sunlight can prevent flowering, so strive to maintain balanced light.

This is a lovely specimen plant for a hot sun room or greenhouse in cold climates, or as an accent plant upon a tropical tree trunk or in a hanging basket for the patio. Use the cut flowers for hair decals, table garnishes or floral arrangements.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    12 - 14

  • Sunset Zone

    H2

  • Plant Type

    Epiphyte

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    14"-20" / 35.6cm - 50.8cm

  • Width

    16"-24" / 40.6cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Fuchsia, Violet, Plum, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Light Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No