Grammatophyllum Speciosum Blooming at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Other Wonderful Things

I had forgotten about Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s free winter weekday admission until I saw Brokelyn’s post about it earlier this week. So I made plans to go with my also-marginally-employed friend on Friday morning (random aside: we planned to meet at 11am on 11.11.11!). I’ve been in the mood to go see some orchids, and I was also thinking about how the Grammatophyllum speciosum (AKA the Tiger Orchid) was probably due to bloom soonish. You may remember that I featured this plant as an Orchid of the Week quite awhile back; it’s believed to be the largest type of orchid in the world!

When we got to the Aquatic House at the BBG, we marveled at some lovely Vandas for awhile before I realized that the Tiger Orchid was already in bloom!! This plant is a truly stunning monster:

The amazing Grammatophyllum speciosum in bloom

I’ve seen this orchid many times, but never in bloom before. It’s just spectacular:

The blooms are HUGE

You can’t get a good sense of the size of these flowers unless you see them in person. I wish I’d gotten some more close-up shots of them, but I guess this just means I’ll have to go back for a second (and maybe third) look.

Tiger orchid blooms

Back to those lovely Vandas I mentioned:

Gorgeous red Vanda
Vanda Sanderiana
Blue Vandas

Also of note was a Catasetum Incurvum:

The birdlike Catasetum Incurvum

And a gorgeous Bulbophyllum echinolabium:

A perfect Bulbophyllum echinolabium

My friend snapped a really great Hipstamatic pic of me admiring the Bulbophyllum:

Me and Bulbophyllum

While not an orchid, it’s definitely worth posting a photo of this specimen that my friend spotted in the cactus room:

I shall dub it “Cocktus”

Yup. You can see my full set of photos from the visit here.

All in all, we had a great time exploring the BBG for free! We enjoyed some hot apple cider to combat the chill and had a nice British woman take our photo at the Japanese garden:

Japanese Garden + apple cider = happiness

Oh BBG, I will see you again soon!

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  1. That Moon Cactus or Cocktus as you aptly dubbed it is quite a visual!

    With all the wonderful orchid species in my collection which are doing incredibly well, I somehow am not ever successful with the Catasetum incurvum. It’s not that they die on me, they simply won’t bloom.

    By the way, thanks a million for the link.

  2. Thanks for this. Vandas in bloom = must gooooooo.
    I found your blog researching NYC’s botanical gardens. You don’t happen to know if they sell orchid supplies at the Brooklyn Botanical do you?

    1. Hi Julie, glad you found my blog! The BBG has a garden shop that does offer some orchid supplies (as well as orchids themselves). You can find things like fertilizer, orchid baskets and wire hangers, decorative pots, and a couple types of media. The orchid supplies aren’t super extensive though. But it’s worth a trip to see their orchid collection regardless!

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