Neotropical Pillars Of Paradise

 |Arpophyllum spicatum floral detail|

|Arpophyllum spicatum floral detail|

From the mountain forests of Mexico to as far south as Columbia and even across the Caribbean Sea from the island of Jamaica comes this beautiful pillar of paradise.  May I present to you Arpophyllum spicatum also commonly referred to as the Sickle-Leafed Arpophyllum, Candle Orchid, or Hyacinth Orchid.

 |Arpophyllum spicatum flower spike profile|

|Arpophyllum spicatum flower spike profile|

I recently bought one of these beauties at the Huntington Gardens Orchid Show.  Now I love a good plant show and this one did not disappoint.  And when it comes to orchids I really dig the ones with not only cool flowers but they've got to have some funky foliage going on.  When I saw this orchid's long, lithe, exotic sickle-shaped leaves I was hooked.  Their imagery reminds me of a spilling streams of water.  Very soothing.  The 6" bloom spike packed with many purple-pink orchid blooms was the added bonus. Captivating!

 |Arpophyllum spicatum mounted|

|Arpophyllum spicatum mounted|

This orchid is epiphytic and tends to grow up in the trees of the aforementioned mountain forests.  It looks amazing mounted.  A tropical trophy.  From what I was told, this orchid, in Southern California, is almost indestructible when grown outdoors in protected areas with high light levels and warmth.  For those that don't live in SoCal try growing it indoors or in a protected covered porch area that has an ample supply of bright, high light levels and warm temps.  Keep it watered throughout the year but reduce it a bit after flowering until the next buds appear.  One other tip, if grown in a container, as they grow let them overfill it because they'll bloom even more if they are pot bound.

I'm truly fascinated by orchids.  They're definitely something different but if you're up to a challenge and give it what it needs, Arpophyllum spicatum will reward you with some kickin' cool pillars of paradise! Check it out.