Bletilla striata


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This genus is very similar to the North American genus Bletia . Terrestrial herbs and rhizomes, similar to Cymbidium. Petals and sepals are both similar in appearance, the lip is separate with 3 lobes.
Capable of growing to 30 cm (12 inches) tall with flowers often pale purple, although the tone may vary.  Flowers may reach 3-5 cm (1.2 to 2 inches) across


Landscape plant, container plant, border plant.

This plant is widely distributed in China and into South East Asia and Japan.  In fact, the rhizomes of some species are used widely in Chinese herbal medicine.


Adaptable to most soils, but likes a light, fertile loam.  Will tolerate full sun, but needs protection from the heat of the day.




A white flowering variety is also grown in some countries. Most generic cultivars are bred from this species.
There are nine or ten species of Bletilla.

Plant Health

They are relatively cold hardy species (grows in temperate regions if sheltered from extreme cold).

More info

Some have been classified at times in  the genus Cymbidium. occurring in temperate eastern Asia.  They are normally found growing on a sloping dry, well drained ground, among grasses, at altitudes of 100 to 3300 metres (330 to 10,890 feet).

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