The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Thunia

Family: Orchidaceae.

Thunia Genus of about 6 species of herbaceous, sympodial, epiphytic or terrestrial orchid, found in Burma, Thailand, South China and India Plants form clumps of erect, biennial leafy canes/stems terminating in a raceme of white showy Coelogyne-like flowers with yellow and orange-marked lips. Plants can grow to a height of between 50cm and 100 cm. The leaves on the new growths are grey-green and fall off soon after flowering. The older canes/stems are usually bare and silver-grey in colour and stay on the plant for another year. During the first year the cane/stem is in active growth and flowers at the end of the growing season. The second year it loses its leaves and serves as a food reservoir for the new growth. After the new growth is mature it has used up all the energy from the older cane, which then shrivels and dies.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Intermediate grown orchid. Should be planted in a moisture-retaining but well drained and aerated compost/potting soil. They should be grown in a fairly bright situation with adequate fresh air movement to ensure healthy plant growth. During winter the plants should be kept in a cool rather dry atmosphere and be given only enough water to prevent the canes/stems from shrivelling. Water freely all year, sparingly in winter. This is one of the few orchids which can be profitably propagated by cutting the old mature canes/stems into lengths of about 15cm and rooting them in sand or sphagnum moss. Alternatively large plants can be devided into smaller divisions, each retaining at least two mature canes/stems. Plants divided in this manner will flower the same year, after completion of the new growth. Plants regularly also produce keikies from the terminal nodes on the canes/stems of the previous season, which can be removed and planted up as individual plants.
Thunia Gattonensis 'Adagent' AM/AOS
Cluster of starry white flowers with cranberry-rose lips sit atop tall stems. Dies back in late fall and bursts forth with new growth in spring. Vigorous growths. Thunia Gattonensis 'Adagent' AM/AOS
Thunia marshalliana Rchb. f.
Thunia marshalliana is a herbaceous, sympodial, epiphytic/terrestrial orchid, which form clumps of erect, biennial leafy canes/stems terminating in a raceme of white showy Coelogyne-like flowers with yellow and orange-marked lips. Plants can grow to a height of between 50cm and 100 cm. The leaves on the new growths are grey-green and fall off soon after flowering. The older canes/stems are usually bare and silver-grey in colour and stay on the plant for another year. During the first year the cane/stem is in active growth and flowers at the end of the growing season. The second year it loses its leaves and serves as a food reservoir for the new growth. After the new growth is mature it has used up all the energy from the older cane, which then shrivels and dies.

User-submitted additions and corrections:

Ian MIissen
New zealand
6th Jan 2006
When was Thunia Gattonensis awarded AM/AOS
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