Arundina graminifolia

Common Name: bamboo orchid 
Type: Orchid
Family: Orchidaceae
Native Range: Southeastern Asia
Zone: 11 to 12
Height: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: White to pink with rose labellum
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zone 11 where it is best grown in fertile, consistently moist but well-drained soils in part shade. Tolerates full sun. Do not allow soils to dry out. Robust and vigorous. Will escape cultivation and naturalize. Where winter hardy, it often grows as a roadside weed. Where not winter hardy, this orchid may be grown in containers that are brought indoors in winter before first fall frost. Fertilize regularly. Thrives in humid conditions (misting helps in areas with low humidity). Best with a dense potting mix with sharp drainage.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Arundina graminifolia is a terrestrial orchid with foliage that resembles a bamboo, hence the common name of bamboo orchid. It is native to southeast Asia. Reedy stems grow to 5-6' tall to form large clumps. Stems are clad with narrow linear grass-like leaves (each to 4-8" long) with sheaths that wrap the stems. Cattleya-like flowers (to 2-3" across) bloom throughout the year, but more heavily in summer. Each flower features white or pink tepals and a ruffled pink to rose labellum with a yellow center. Each flower is followed by a ribbed seed capsule which splits open when ripe to release its powdery seeds into the wind.

Synonymous with and formerly known as Arundina bambusifolia and Bletia graminifolia.

Genus name comes from the Latin word arundo meaning a reed.

Specific epithet means having grass-like leaves.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Where winter hardy, this is a long-blooming orchid for garden areas. Good houseplant.