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Phaius tankervilleae

Pronunciation: Fay-ee-us tan-kar-vil-ee-ay
Family: Orchidaceae (orchid family)
Common Name: Nun orchid, nun's orchid, swamp orchid, nun's hood orchid
Plant Type:
  • orchid
  • epiphyte, terrestrial
  • perennial
Height to: 3'
Width to: 3"
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
  • part sun
Bloom Season:
  • late spring
Bloom Description: In late spring the orchid sends up a 3-4 ft (1-1. 2 m) tall stalk bearing clusters of nodding reddish brown flowers. The fragrant flowers, each about 3 in (7. 5 cm) across, are silvery on the outside and have yellowish throats. They are rather subdued flowers, but close inspection reveals their typical orchid complexity. The flowers are quite long lasting and darken as they age.
Soil Type: Well drained rich compost
  • No
Plant Perks:
  • Fragrant
  • Container Gardening
  • Cut Flower
Pests and Diseases: Thrips, aphids, spider mites
Propagation: The tubers of nun orchids can be divided to start new plants. If you just lay the old flower stalk on some moist potting medium, it may produce offsets at the nodes. These offsets can then be planted up.
Native to: Native to tropical asia, from japan, china, westward into africa
Notes for Identification:  this herbaceous perennial is usually grown in a container so it can be protected from freezing weather in winter. Even when not in flower, the foliage makes an attractive container plant. In frost free climates, grow nun orchid in the perennial bed, in borders, or under taller flowering shrubs and trees. She likes a little shade during the midday summer heat, and needs a few weeks of dry dormancy in the winter.
USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
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