Bletilla ground orchids like the Bletilla striata ground orchid, through their complex and intricate blooms, give a tropical air to an outdoor garden. A hardy terrestrial orchid, the Bletillia ground orchid species from which all the new hybrids originate, grow wild in grasslands and on slopes in Japan, Southern China, Myanmar, Burma and Thailand. From May onwards, each flower produced from one of these hybrid orchids will have 5 narrow petals radiating above a broad lower petal or lip. The flowers are about 2.5 cm (1 inch) across and appear in sprays of 3-6 at the top of arching stems which can be up to 40 cm (16 in) long and are butterfly-like. Their attractive slender, upright pointed leaves of green are pleated and sword-like. A range of colors and shades are possible ranging from white, yellow, pink to purple, lilac and all shades in between. Unfortunately at the moment it’s not yet possible to deliver plants by color.
Of all the hardy garden orchids, Bletilla can tolerate the most Summer sun, just so long as the soil remains moist. As Winter arrives make sure that it’s not too wet because their roots can easily freeze. If you protect their corm-like pseudobulbs over winter with a layer of dead leaves or compost, Bletillas including the Bletilla striata orchid, will survive and bloom year after year.