Plant Families / 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.