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Bletilla - asian terrestrial orchid

This is a discussion on Bletilla - asian terrestrial orchid within the Orchids of Other Genera IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; I recently got two Bletilla and the marginal variegated Bletilla striata was first to bloom. ...

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  1. #1
    smartie2000's Avatar
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    Default Bletilla - asian terrestrial orchid


    I recently got two Bletilla and the marginal variegated Bletilla striata was first to bloom. They are an orchid native to Asia and can be grown outdoors up to Zone 6 according to various sources. The Japanese call them purple orchids (according to the internet) and I don't know what the Chinese call them (I do want to find out). They are also used as herbal remedies in asian cultures:
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Bletilla is used in Herbal Medicine (bai ji). When employed in herbal remedies, the tuber is peeled and dried in the sun, then cut into slices or ground into a powder.

    Bletilla is associated with the Lung, Stomach and Liver meridians in traditional Chinese medicine, and has a bitter taste and cool properties. Its main functions are to reduce swelling and stop bleeding in the lungs and stomach. It is often used with gelatin, donkey glue and cuttlefish bone as part of a larger herbal formula.

    Among the modern uses for bletilla are treatment of sores, ulcers and chapped skin. Because of its astringent properties, Bletilla is often used to stop bleeding caused by traumatic injuries, heal wounds, reduce swelling, and promote regeneration of tissue. When used with other herbs, bletilla can help treat coughs and phlegmy obstructions.

    The typical dose of Bletilla depends on the condition being treated. Usually, practitioners recommend between 3 and 15 grams of bletilla, taken as a powder. Larger amounts can be applied to the skin, usually mixed with sesame oil.

    Whole, dried Bletilla root is sold at many herbal shops, Asian markets and specialty stores. Bletilla powder is widely available, as are some decoctions that contain Bletilla.

    Bletilla is incompatible with aconite root, and therefore should not be taken with aconite root or any formulas that contain it. As of this writing, there are no known drug interactions with bletilla. As always, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider before taking bletilla or any other herbal remedy or dietary supplement.
    I wonder if I have taken an orchid medication without knowing...

    And truely these guys can grow in organic potting soil! Perfect for someone that doesn't grow orchids I assume.
    I recieved them when they had already broken dormancy and hopefully I can have a higher flower count next year (or maybe there is more to come?), I believe they can produce up to 12 flowers. I have mine in compost, perlite, sand and fine bark and whatever the plant was previously potted in since I did not disturb the root ball. They also need a few months of dormancy to bloom. This is a freshly opened bloom from this morning and maybe I will catch some fragrance later.

    I also have Bletilla Yokohama (striata X formosana) in spike and maybe it will bloom next week. I will post a photo in this thread when it blooms. I think it will be yellow or white based on the spike colour.
    Last edited by smartie2000; June 3rd, 2007 at 02:52 PM. Reason: changed photo

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    BD I changed the photo, does 3333.imgcache have to be manually emptied by the webmaster or is it automatic?

    nvm I see that the old pic is still stored. I'm creating more work for you I just wanted to change the angle of the photo very minimally to show the lip better

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    Quote Originally Posted by smartie2000 View Post
    BD I changed the photo, does 3333.imgcache have to be manually emptied by the webmaster or is it automatic?

    nvm I see that the old pic is still stored. I'm creating more work for you I just wanted to change the angle of the photo very minimally to show the lip better
    No worries, Fren! Beauty of a bloom you have there and thank you for the great information.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    That's beautiful Fren. Thanks for all the wonderful information too.

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    Sweet flower and that lip is just great!

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    I agree, that lip is spectacular and the shade of purple is awesome!

    Katie

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    That is such a gorgeous purple- its my favorite color! I've heard a few people mention that some orchids need a "dormancy" period in order to bloom, but I don't know very much about this- how long of a dormancy period does this orchid require...what what exactly does it mean to allow an orchid to go "dormant"? Is there anywhere you can recommend I go to learn more about which orchids require this?

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    Very cute. Thank you for taking the time to share all that great info too.

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    Todd has experience growing these indoors in Canada. It's too cold up here for outdoors. He said that he puts them in the basement for winter rest for 4 months at 8C.

    Basically all the leaves die back and all that remains is its pseudobulb which is under the soil for Bletilla, and you have to keep them dry and cool. They cannot freeze either (usually bulbs don't freeze when planted in the ground)

    I think 3 months of winter rest is long enough, though I will probably give them longer since winter is so long here. I think putting them in a fridge would work too. I plan to have mine in my garage. I know that it is slightly above freezing in my garage because snow melts in there. My alternative would be to put them in my storage room in the basement, it stays cool on the floor and I store my dahlia tubers in there

    I don't remember all my website I've been to, here are some:
    Plant Novelties: Bletilla striata
    Hardy Bletillas
    Bletilla striata - Orchidaceae
    Bletilla - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Doing some googling I think Bletilla striata is called a 紫蘭 but I am not sure...I'm illiterate ...or is it 白及
    interesting that it seems that 兰 or 'Lan', the word for orchid doesn't seem associated with it. or maybe 兰 doesn't mean orchid? or am I confused? or the ancient chinese grouped orchids as differently than scientists, I know plants like clivia are called 兰 when they aren't orchids
    Last edited by smartie2000; June 4th, 2007 at 03:31 AM.

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