Egret Flower Orchid
Ease to Grow: Moderate.
Native Range: Peat Bogs of Asia.
Zones: 5-9 (4-10).
Egret Flower, Habenaria radiata, is a small Asian bog orchid, with a beautiful, heavily fringed, white flower that resembles a miniature egret in flight. Flowers can be the size of quarters on long spikes, with 1 to 10+ flowers each. It is a mid to late summer bloomer, and flowers last for a month or more if unpollinated. Leaves are long and lanceolate. Flower spikes are tall and benefit from staking, and protection from the wind. Best flowering occurs with plants in full sun, shade tends to reduce flower size and abundance. It is a bog plant which grows in open, acid bogs with sphagnum moss, but is adaptable to drier, upland conditions, as long as the soil remains damp during flowering. It does best in wet conditions, and frequently produces multiple corms, sprouting young plants. It is a slow grower. Seeds are very fine and can be a challenge to germinate. It is winter hardy, and should be protected from rodents during dormancy. Mulch with 4+" of pine needles in the Fall. Leave at least a 1" of needles after spring cleanup. The corms can be stored in damp sphagnum at 35°F (2°C) in a refrigerator for 3 or 4 months. Water with rain/distilled water. They are less sensitive to mineral buildup than other bog orchids. It grows well among pitcher plants. It is a curious orchid for the bog garden.
Our plants are not collected from the wild, and are propagated from corm divisions of plants in our collection.
For Egret Flowers size refers to the number of corms. Small (1), medium (2), large (3). Bulbs are small: between 3/16"-1/2".
Height: 6" - 16".
Plant Type: Perennial, cold temperate.
Soil: Bog Orchid Mix.
Soil pH: 5-6.5.
Light: Full to Partial Sun.
Use: Grows best outdoors in the bog garden or pots.