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

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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

41 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Category:
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

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:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

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There are a total of 46 photos.
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Profile:

13 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive Daxrunner 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 Tibble22 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 rosep37 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 gardenbehr 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 robbpa 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 mrao77 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 mjsponies 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 jacobsjd 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 Lily_love 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 KARLAE 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 tommyr2006 On Nov 19, 2006, tommyr2006 from Poughkeepsie, NY 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 1wish_n_well 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 mimisews 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 JaxFlaGardener 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 MotherNature4 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 Terry 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.

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
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
Cabin Creek, West Virginia



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