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Bletilla - Hardy Orchids

Bletilla are deciduous terrestrial perennial orchids boasting attractive pleated, linear to lance-shaped leaves, and erect racemes of bell-shaped flowers in spring and summer. The delicate flowers vary in color from white to purple to yellow. Bletilla striata (Chinese Ground Orchid) and Bletilla ochracea (Chinese Butterfly Orchid) are 2 popular hardy species of orchids grown by gardeners in temperate climate areas. Regarded as one of the simplest orchids to maintain in the garden, they grow from pseudobulbs that resemble spreading corms and usually sit at ground level. A well established clump of these in flower is quite beautiful and they are surprisingly hardy even into USDA Zone 5.

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Bletilla (Hardy Orchids)

Bletilla are deciduous terrestrial perennial orchids boasting attractive pleated, linear to lance-shaped leaves, and erect racemes of bell-shaped flowers in spring and summer. The delicate flowers vary in color from white to purple to yellow. Bletilla striata (Chinese Ground Orchid), Bletilla formosana Taiwan Ground Orchid), Bletilla ochracea (Chinese Butterfly Orchid) are 3 popular hardy species of orchids grown by gardeners in temperate climate areas. They grow from pseudobulbs that usually sit at ground level. A well established clump of these in flower is quite beautiful and rewarding.

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Bletilla formosana (Taiwan Ground Orchid)

Bletilla formosana (Taiwan Ground Orchid) is a deciduous terrestrial perennial orchids with arching, linear green leaves, and loose spikes of up to 6 nodding pale-pink or white flowers with lips marked with deep yellow and red spots. Blooming in late spring to early summer, the blossoms are borne on wiry stems above the foliage. Arising from pseudobulbs, the foliage remains fresh-looking during the entire growing season before fading and disappearing in the fall.

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Bletilla striata 'Alba' (Chinese Ground Orchid)

Unlike many orchids, Bletilla striata 'Alba' (Chinese Ground Orchid) is an easy-to-care-for hardy terrestrial orchid. It produces small, cattleya-like, pure white flowers, 1 in. (2.5 cm). Borne in elegant racemes of 5-10 blossoms, they rise artfully above the foliage. Each exotic-looking flower has five spreading petals with an undulating, furrowed lower lip. Blooming for about 4-6 weeks in early to mid summer, the flowers open from the bottom of the raceme and progress to the top.

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Bletilla striata 'Big Bob' (Chinese Ground Orchid)

Unlike many orchids, Bletilla striata 'Bib Bob' (Chinese Ground Orchid) is an easy-to-care-for hardy terrestrial orchid. It produces small, cattleya-like, rose-lavender flowers, 2 in. (5 cm), adorned with dark lavender highlights. Borne in elegant racemes of up to 20 orchids, they rise artfully above the foliage. Each exotic-looking flower has five spreading petals with an undulating, furrowed lower lip. Blooming for about 4-6 weeks in late spring to early summer, the flowers open from the bottom of the raceme and progress to the top.

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Bletilla striata 'Kuchibeni' (Chinese Ground Orchid)

Unlike many orchids, Bletilla striata 'Kuchibeni' (Chinese Ground Orchid) is an easy-to-care-for hardy terrestrial orchid. It produces small, cattleya-like, soft pink to white flowers with a marked pink flush around the lip. Borne in elegant racemes, they rise artfully above the foliage. Each exotic-looking flower has five spreading petals with an undulating, furrowed lower lip. Blooming for about 4-6 weeks in early to mid summer, the flowers open from the bottom of the raceme and progress to the top.

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Bletilla striata 'Shi-Ran' (Chinese Ground Orchid)

Unlike many orchids, Bletilla striata 'Shi-Ran' (Chinese Ground Orchid) is an easy-to-care-for hardy terrestrial orchid. It produces small, cattleya-like, purple-pink flowers, 2 in. (5 cm). Borne in elegant racemes of up to 7 orchids, they rise artfully above the foliage. Each exotic-looking flower has five spreading petals with an undulating, furrowed lower lip. Blooming for about 4-6 weeks in late spring to early summer, the flowers open from the bottom of the raceme and progress to the top.

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Bletilla striata (Chinese Ground Orchid)

Unlike many orchids, award-winning Bletilla striata (Chinese Ground Orchid) is an easy-to-care-for hardy terrestrial orchid. It produces small, cattleya-like, pinkish-purple flowers, 2 in. wide (5 cm), in pretty racemes of up to 12 blooms. Rising artfully above the foliage, each exotic-looking flower has five spreading petals with an undulating, furrowed lower lip. Blooming for about 4-6 weeks in early to mid summer, the flowers open from the bottom of the raceme and progress to the top.

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