About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Chinese Ground Orchid

In late winter, the foliage of the Chinese ground orchids Bletilla striata emerge from the soil. Right behind them are the delicate little purple and white flowers. There is also a white variety. These cold-hardy ground orchids are different from the tropical ones sold in local stores. This particular variety goes to sleep in winter and then re-emerges in spring, similar to caladiums. The bright green palm-like foliage remains through early autumn. 

They multiply readily and can be shared or planted throughout the garden. Of all the bulbs planted in my garden they are the first to bloom in spring.

If you like ground orchids, the Bletilla striata is a good cold-hardy choice for central Florida gardens. I have never seen it sold locally but it can be purchased online.