Species Orchid, Nun's Orchid, Nun's Cap Orchid, Phaius
Phaius tankervilleae

Family: Orchidaceae (or-kid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phaius (FAY-ee-us) (Info)
Species: tankervilleae (tan-kar-VIL-ee-ay) (Info)
Synonym:Bletia tankervilleae
Synonym:Phaius grandifolius
View this plant in a garden

Category:

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Height:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Spacing:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Brown/Bronze

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:

Evergreen

Herbaceous

Veined

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (3 reports)

Deatsville, Alabama

Bartow, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Bokeelia, Florida

Bradley, Florida

Brandon, Florida

Brooksville, Florida (2 reports)

Daytona Beach, Florida

Deland, Florida

Floral City, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Meade, Florida

Fort White, Florida

Frostproof, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)

Keystone Heights, Florida

Lake Wales, Florida

Leesburg, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Lynn Haven, Florida

Miami, Florida (2 reports)

Milton, Florida

Nokomis, Florida

North Fort Myers, Florida

Odessa, Florida

Orlando, Florida (2 reports)

Panama City, Florida

Panama City Beach, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Sebastian, Florida

Sebring, Florida

Seffner, Florida

Seminole, Florida

Shalimar, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Wellborn, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Yulee, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Waycross, Georgia

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Gonzales, Louisiana

Maurepas, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana (2 reports)

Saint Martinville, Louisiana (2 reports)

Poughkeepsie, New York

Climax, North Carolina

Kure Beach, North Carolina

New Bern, North Carolina

Hanover, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

Beaumont, Texas

Brazoria, Texas

Conroe, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Freeport, Texas

Houston, Texas (3 reports)

Humble, Texas (2 reports)

Port Arthur, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Sealy, Texas

Spring, Texas

Tomball, Texas

Cabin Creek, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

14
positives
3
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On May 10, 2015, aejnqb from New Orleans, LA wrote:

This plant is maintenance free and a real show-stopper here in my New Orleans shade garden (zone 9b). Sometimes the leaves get a little beat up looking over the winter, but for several years now they've reliably come back up with new flower stalks in the early spring, followed by new growth leaves. Once the new growth leaves get a little bigger I trim off the ugly ones -- but it's probably not necessary to wait because in a cold winter I've seen it lose all its leaves and it still came back on time and unphased in spring. Here it starts putting up the stalks in early March, then the buds and then the flowers gradually open up the length of the stalk giving about two months of a nice show before I finally cut off the spent flower stalks in early May. The foliage by itself has a nice hos... read more

Positive

On Mar 31, 2012, Daxrunner from Pinehurst, TX wrote:

Never saw this for sale in my area before, just found it at The Arbor Gate, on highway 2920 a couple miles west of Tomball, Texas.

Positive

On Mar 10, 2012, Tibble22 from Panama City Beach, FL wrote:

I live in zone 8b. I've had my Nun's Orchid for 3 years and have had it outside. Each year it dies back in the winter. I placed my plant in my greenhouse this winter and it never died back and is full of stalks with gorgeous fragrant blooms. And it's only early March. I love this plant!

Positive

On Jun 7, 2010, rosep37 from Palm City, FL wrote:

I hAVE a nun's cap orchid and it was beautiful when I got it but it has not bloomed again. It is still in the original pot - Help

Positive

On Apr 10, 2010, gardenbehr from Tallahassee, FL wrote:

After the first winter, the foliage was burned, and the plant slowly came back, but there were no flowers. This winter, the coldest we've had in years, the foliage was again burned, but a huge healthy flower stalk appeared in the spring, and leaves are returning quickly.

Positive

On Jun 29, 2009, robbpa from Milton, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Lovely foliage with an abundance of flowers. One problem, they appear to set and develop flowers during the autumn and winter, and then blooms in the spring. Last winters frost, 19 F, killed the plants while the blooms were forming. The lovely foliage returned this spring, but no flowers. This is their first year in my garden so we shall have to wait and see if they flower later this year.

Positive

On Apr 6, 2009, mrao77 from Plano, TX wrote:

I love the flowers on this orchid and it is not as demanding as the Phalenopsis or catteleyas. The flowers last long and blooms consistently. I have to keep it in a pot since it will not survive the winter in my zone 7a. However, it does like to remian pot bound, so not a problem at all!

Neutral

On Nov 4, 2008, mjsponies from DeLand/Deleon Springs, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Just bought two of these at an Orchid show here in Deland.
They were on sale 2 for$ 5.00 so got a pink and purple.
They were in kinda sad shape, so am looking for ideas on what to do to help them along. I'll try to get some pics today and see if anyone has any suggestions.

Positive

On Aug 31, 2008, jacobsjd from Orlando, FL wrote:

Nun's orchid grows easily here in Orlando. Also, of note, it is very easily propogated using the bloom stems. Simply cut them into pieces, each with at least on node. Then dip them in rooting hormone and place in moist sphagnum moss. Keep them moist and small orchids will emerge within a month or two.

Positive

On Feb 16, 2007, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

Nun's Orchid; my guide to Davegarden! I purchased this plant last summer, the friendly nurserymen referred me to Davesgarden website for more information. This orchid does well in my shady area outdoors from late spring until late fall here on my 7-8 USDA zone. Inside, the flower spikes formed in the middle of the winter. The flowers are about to burst open anyday now. I potted this in orchid-mix media (no soil) and they thrive with little water/fertilizer during the growing seasons.

Positive

On Jan 31, 2007, KARLAE from Freeport, TX wrote:

WE BOUGHT OUR NUN'S CAP LAST FEB. AT A NURSERY IN HOUSTON. THERE WERE 10 BLOOM SPIKES ON 5 PLANTS IN THE POT. AFTER THEY BLOOMED, I LET THE NEW SIDE SHOOTS GET ABOUT 2/3 FULL SIZE THEN CUT THE OLD GROWTH OFF. THIS YEAR, WE HAVE 9 BLOOM SPIKES ON THOSE 5 NEW PLANTS. THEY ARE OUTSIDE UNDER 50% SHADE CLOTH BY A POND, AND IT'S BEEN DOWN TO 34 DEG. WITH NO DAMAGE AT ALL.

Positive

On Nov 19, 2006, tommyr2006 from Poughkeepsie, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Grows great in a west window. An awesome plant! I bought mine in 2005 and it's doing GREAT in a west bedroom window. Hopefully it'll bloom again for me. I feed it every other watering with a half strength miracle grow. Lush, wide ,tall green leaves! I LOVE this plant!

Positive

On Mar 13, 2006, 1wish_n_well from Houston, TX wrote:

A neighbor gave me starts last fall when she cut hers back. She had hundreds of blooms on her plant, sitting in a pot on her covered patio. My babies put out leaves this winter, but they seem slow to grow, and I'm wondering if/when I might get blooms. We didn't have much cold weather just south of Houston this winter. She said she always cuts hers way back after the blooms go.

Neutral

On Feb 28, 2005, mimisews from Pearland, TX wrote:

I have just purchased this plant. I live south of Houston, Tx and hope it will grow for me.

Positive

On Dec 17, 2004, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant is one of my favorites. It grows and blooms easily in NE Florida (on the borderline of Zone 8/Zone 9). Flowers emerge soon after the last frost in our area (around March 1) and remain in spike for several weeks. I want to collect hundreds of them! I think they are especially effective in a border mixed with Aspidistra since the leaves are so similar in size, texture, and appearance.

Update 3/14/06: The flower spikes for the past two years have emerged before the last frost/freeze and some get blasted black by the cold weather while others continue to bloom unaffected. Next Winter, I will find some way to put a cloche/bell jar type cover over the emerging flower spikes to better protect them.

Jeremy

Positive

On Nov 29, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

These lovely terrestrial orchids can grow to 1.4m tall. They have naturalized in some areas of Florida, notably in Hardee County, preferring swamps, hammocks or bayheads.

The common name is explained by looking into the throat of the flower. One can see what appears to be a nun with head bowed in prayer.

Neutral

On Jan 15, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

This terrestrial orchid is relatively easy-to-grow, as a houseplant (or outdoors in very mild climates) Will need some cool temperatures to encourage blooming.