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Bulb. echinolabium
Bulb. echinolabium

Bulbophyllum echinolabium  (Borneo/Sulawesi)

No matter how you see it Bulb. echinolabium is a show stopper. If the 18” flower or deeply colored and textured lip that sways in the wind as if on a minute hinge doesn’t intrigue you- then its fragrance will definitely leave a lasting impression. From first light until around noon, it smells very strongly of something dead. Not just a bad smell- a something has died smell. Then, after noon the odor disappears. I remember one time insisting that a customer come back the next morning to smell the flower before she purchased the plant. She promptly returned the next day with her heart set on buying it and with one smell changed her mind. It doesn’t help that it blooms in the warmest days of the year. If one flower is open hot-humid Bulbophyllum echinolabium hits you in the face the second you open the door to the greenhouse.

Echinolabium will usually begin to flower in late Spring and bloom throught the Summer. The flowers last about 4-5 days but the spike will continue to bloom for a couple of months and you can get up to 10 flowers before the spike fades. I grow these warm and wet (but well drained) and on the bright side of shady.