Another Trichoglottis

Actually, there are another 30 odd species in the genus, and the following Trichoglottis species do well in North Queensland. There are basically two types of Trichoglottis, one has thin pendulous stems with small flowers along the stem and includes the Australian species, Trichoglottis australiensis and the occasionally seen Trichoglottis latisepala which is also misidentified as T. rosea.

The second type are erect growing plants, much like Vandas etc, and listed below are some of the species in cultivation. (Photo above left Trichoglottis ionosma.)

From the Philippines

  • Trichoglottis brachiata

    Has 5cm heavy textured flowers of rich red purple, the lip white and purple, sometimes referred to as the Black Orchid. The flowers are produced along the stem. A climber requiring something to clamber up.

  • Trichoglottis philippinense

    The pale yellow, brown form of brachiata, with flowers to 4 cm, pale yellow around the edges, lip white.

  • Trichoglottis ionosma

    Has a branched spike of 3 cm flowers, yellow, blotched and barred redbrown. The lip is heart shaped and white. Similar to Trichoglottis luchuensis, this name may not be correct, due to the normal haphazard naming by the original export Nursery in the Philippines. This species was originally imported mixed in with plants of Trichoglottis luchuensis, all labelled Trichoglottis luzonense, a species which is quite different vegetively.

  • Trichoglottis luchuensis

    Also has a branched spike habit, with 3 cm yellow flowers, blotched and spotted brown. The lip is cross shaped, red brown. A Philippine and Formosan species. Like Trichoglottis ionosma, these do best in pots or a basket as they do not climb.

  • Trichoglottis luzonense

    A larger plant, with wider leaves and is slow growing. The branched spikes carry numerous 4 cm flowers, yellow barred red brown, much like a small Arachnis flower. Another non climber, basket culture used.

  • Trichoglottis wenzellii

    A rampant grower, has green yellow flowers with concentric red veins, the lip is long and white. A climber, requiring something to clamber up. Very fragrant, well worth growing for the prefume.

South East Asia

The following species come from South East Asia, all climbers requiring something to clamber up.

  • Trichoglottis retusa

    A smaller grower, has 2cm yellow green flowers with brown blotches, produced along the stem, the lip is white.

  • Trichoglottis sagarikii

    A very pretty species with 3 cm flowers, yellow with redbrown blotches, the lip is white and purple.

  • Trichoglottis fasciata

    Grown locally for half a century, was also known as Stauropsis fasciata. This species produces short spikes of 3 or 4 flowers, each about 5 cm long, white outside, inside yellow green with wide bars of redbrown, the lip white.


All the Trichoglottis grow well either in a bushhouse or outdoors, with broken sunlight and protection from direct hot sunlight. The climbers need something to clamber up, and can be kept manageable by cutting tops and replanting at the base of the support for a specimen clump. They like plenty of water and benefit from regular fertilizing.

They mostly flower at different times, some are particularly fragrant and all flower regularly, so there is in flower, usually, another Trichoglottis.

Text and photographs by Ian Walters.
May be reproduced provided source acknowledged.