Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Species Orchid, Windowsill Orchid, Formosa Pleione
Pleione formosana

Family: Orchidaceae (or-kid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pleione (plee-OH-nee) (Info)
Species: formosana (for-MOH-sa-nuh) (Info)

Synonym:Pleione hui
Synonym:Pleione pricei

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Alpines and Rock Gardens
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

under 6 in. (15 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

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:
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
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:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 14 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive haika On Oct 31, 2008, haika from Snohomish, WA wrote:

Pleiones are one of my favorite orchids and I've grown this species for several decades. I see it's currently available at Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery (fall 2008) but I'm sure it's available elsewhere as well. I grow these in pots in the partial sun all spring/summer on the east side of my house on the patio under my upstairs deck and dry them off for the winter right about October. Keep them cool and dry all winter.The leaves will yellow off and drop off. I keep them in my garage for the winter (unheated but above freezing) and I do not water them. I start watching them in January/February to see when new vegetative shoots start forming. This is the trickiest part of Pleione culture. If the plant is too warm when roots are initially forming, you get rot. So, cool and moist (not WET) but NOT freezing is your target. Experience helps. The pseudobulb from last year will shrivel up through time as the new ones are formed. This is really different from any other orchid I've grown. The spring flowering ones have been easier for me to grow than the fall-flowering species. P. formosana will form pseudobulblets from the top of the old pseudobulb as well when it's happy. Not all species do this. When this species is 'struggling', you just get one new pseudobulb (no increase). I repot on a semi-annual basis, usually just before I anticipate new growth to avoid damaging new roots. The plants really have a well-defined growth cycle that MUST be understood for success.

Neutral Baa On Aug 31, 2001, Baa wrote:

Terrestrial orchid from China and Taiwan. Has a large round psuedobulb which produces 1 folded lance shaped leaf up to 5 inches long, which may die before the plant flowers. Bears one pale lilac flower with a white tube like lip and darkish red markings inside the tube, the mouth is slightly fringed, pink margins and purple/pink spots.

P. formosana may be grown outside in a sheltered rock garden if the winter temperatures do not fall below 23F. Their natural habitat is wet woodland and they are at their best in very well drained, leafy, humus rich soil in partial shade. Protect from frosts with an open cloche.


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

Benicia, California
San Francisco, California
Sebastopol, California
Cathcart, Washington

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