|Vandachnis Coronation is a hybrid of Arachnis flos aeris and Vandopsis lissochiloides|
|When the sun backlights the flowers they show a beautiful yellow color|
|A single inflorescence, the inflorescences can grow to five feet of lenght|
|Five plants were grown side by side so that their inflorescences would bloom together|
|The aim is to delight the viewer with a massed display of flowers|
But even though this plan sounds as a fairly easy proposition growing a group of Vandachnis takes some planning given their large size and slow rate of growth. First you need a place where you can grow the plants undisturbed for at least three years. This length of time is dictated by the fact that although by its Vandopsis parent standards of growth these plants grow lightning fast by the Arachnis parent standard their growth rate is glacially slow. Also you need an area where there is good support for the stems of these plants. Vandachnis Coronation can bloom well when it is six feet tall, but they bloom even better when they reach seven or more feet. The inflorescence of a small plant can be a single unbranched modest affair, the inflorescence of a tall and strong plant can have four branches and be five feet long.
I placed five plants fairly close together side by side in 2006 and started caring for them and waiting. In 2008 I got the grouping of inflorescences that I wanted. As you can see in the photos there were dozens of flowers massed together. The flowers of Vandachnis are relatively thick and leathery and an inflorescence can spend weeks opening new flowers. This means that the display lasted for about three months before all the flowers had fallen. But the blooming was at its best for about a month, just after most of its flowers had opened by before the first ones to open had started to drop.
Unfortunately the plants were damaged by the winds of a storm which meant that the blooming 2008 is still their best show. However I am planning to put a new group together and see if I can get even more inflorescences and flowers all at the same time.
For cultural advice on this plant go to: http://ricardogupi.blogspot.com/2008/10/arachnis-culture.html