Plant Common Name
Despite the malodorous nature of the greenish brown cap-like flowers of Burford's bulbophyllum, this fall-blooming orchid is a reliable performer and conversation piece. A tropical epiphyte from the hot and humid forests of New Guinea and eastern Indonesia, it dots upper tree branches and produces slightly stinky flowers that attract flies as pollinators.
The slender, bright green leaves of this orchid are thick and leathery. The plants are comprised of many pseudobulbs, each carrying only one leaf, that form a dense cluster. In late summer and well into the autumn, short stems rise just above the foliage and bear the unusual flowers with three prominent white-spotted tepals of greenish golden brown white spots. Two tepals hang downward while the central one acts like a flap, curving forward to protect the smelly nectary from raindrops.
Grow Burford's bulbophyllum in bright shade in a warm, humid environment. It is a true epiphyte that should be mounted to a tree, or wedged into a wooden basket or pot filled with fine bark nuggets. Water regularly with fresh warm water. Diluted liquid fertilizer applications should be applied intermittently from spring through autumn. Good air circulation will help prevent root or stem rot. Be sure to provide bright indirect light. In too little light leaves will turn deep green, while direct sunlight can scald leaves causing them to turn yellow.
Despite the smell, this is a nice orchid to grow as a houseplant. Outdoors it makes a great accent plant for garden or patio.
AHS Heat Zone
12 - 10
USDA Hardiness Zone
12 - 15
Partial Sun, Partial Shade
8"-14" / 20.3cm - 35.6cm
12"-16" / 30.5cm - 40.6cm
Early Fall, Fall, Late Fall
Container, Feature Plant, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Tropical
Sharp or Has Thorns