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Bulbophyllum hamelinii | Orchids Online
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Bulbophyllum hamelinii

Bulbophyllum hamelinii.

A rarely seen species from Madagascar, found in lichen rich forest this robust plant has large flat discoid-shaped psuedobulbs, can be up to 8" diameter, more more often in cultivated plants up to 4" diameter with 2 long soft plicate leaves. The inflorescence normally up to 7" long with a many flowered rhachis up to 6" long. The half inch flowers have one of the most obnoxious smells in the orchid world. The flower colour when forming is a soft pink colour.

I took these images in Bobs (an OOL member) greenhouse after he called to tell me it had flowered, I couldn't miss the opportunity to snap this rarely seen species.

Bulbophyllum hamelinii

Vote Result

Score: 9.1, Votes: 8

obnoxious smell

You made a couple of comments
1. Obnoxious smell, is it worse then Bulbophyllum fletcherianum
2. A rarely seen species from Madagascar - is there a reason for this ?

The best

Hi Bernard,I have been trying to find an image of this Bulbo for nearly 20 years, ever since I bought one. I have never flowered mine, the newest bulb is three and a quarter inches across and almost as high. I can't wait for mine to flower and to check out the smell. I will post an image of my plant now.
Welcome back to OOL I missed the wealth of information that you shared on this site. You have named a lot of my plants and have posted a lot I had never seen flowers of or heard of such as Bulb. hamelinii.


Bulbophyllum hamelinii

Thanks Jean & pawpaw.

Yes, Madagascar has one of the richest and diverse orchid floras in the world, approx 1000 species
many endemic and unique. It is not surprising that there are 209 species of Bulbophyllum (more than the new world and Africa combined),of which up to 99% are endemic, these have evolved in isolation for millions of years. Many of these species are strange even bazaar, others are small beauties.

These species are hard to obtain, one generally sees them for sale at the larger international show's, more often than not, you will pay top price for them. Then when you have brought them home you have to try and emulate the conditions that suit them. This is the difficult part. I have had a few species over the years and have not been successful with them, one or two have flowered and have then expired. They need lots of very bright and prolonged light which in the northern hemisphere is hard to achieve. I think Eric, this is why your plant looks so healthy. Plants I have seen in Europe normally have unhealthy vegatative parts and psuedobulbs.

The obnoxious smell is twenty times worse than B. fletcherianum. The petals and sepals are meat coloured and the lip is very dark coloured with small raised bumps with stiff hairs around the edges. From a short distance and with the lip rocking in the breeze, they look somewhat like blowflies.

We don't see enough of these wonderfull Madagascan Bulbophyllum species on the society show benches, perhaps it's due to the availability and difficulty in growing and flowering them.


Master reigns in!

Hi bernabu , and all,

I'm glad that the master-one of the outstanding orchidists on this venerable website- re-joined and invigorates my learning!

Best regards!