|Stanhopea tigrina var nigroviolacea|
My stanhopea nigroviolacea flowers opened up this morning and I was able to take this picture as the blooms were unfolding. It have the most magical scent - heavy chocolate mixed with strong vanilla and the smell very forceful and lingers for a long time.
Unfortunately, the blooms only last a few days and then it's all over for another season which will be next year - these orchids are not for an impatient grower, however they have their own unusual beauty and many people appreciate their uniqueness. I find them easy orchids to grow - they need open bottom planters so that flower spikes can push thru, they appreciate shade for most of the year and plenty of watering. Then what's left is just to enjoy them and marvel at Nature's creation.
I can't say enough about stanhopea's and their special beauty, but Barney Greer, one of first Australian experts on this genera documented and described them this way:
"...I couldn't believe my eyes. It's huge savage beauty, it's uninhibited perfume, the incredible sculpture of the lip! The way the buds exploded into life, flaunted their brazen charms like Can Can dancers and then fell in a heap! This was an ORCHID. I was hooked..." B Greer