Noteworthy Accent Plant: Giant Helleborine

michael hagedorn

This charming terrestrial orchid, Epipactis gigantea, is name-appropriate…in the wild it may reach 3 ft/ 1 m. In a small container, like this red dish, it tends to be more diminutive, 10″/25 cm. It is native to the west coast of North America from British Columbia south to Mexico.

Available at nurseries specializing in unusual orchids, Giant Helleborine can be a stand alone plant, enjoyable for its own merits on the bonsai benches. It likes a lot of water, a bit on the acidic side. The one pictured here is in a shallow dish without drainage holes, so some water may stand there for half a hot day. It grows well with a couple other plants in the pot, as long as they are not too vigorous or competitive.

DSC_0659 Giant Helleborine, a terrestrial orchid from the western coast of North America

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Arco 2016

A big thank you JP Reitz for sharing these photos from Arco with me, and from me to you.

These are my personal favourites from the exhibition.