Stinky Flower Bulbophyllum echinolabium


Bulbophyllum echinolabium J.J. Sm. 1934 is an epiphytic growing orchid species
with a real stinky flower, found in Sulawesi (former Celebes) and Sumatra.
The Bulbophyllum echinolabium flower, the biggest in the whole Bulbophyllum genus,
has a disguisting smell like rotten flesh, which attracts insects.
The beautiful and very big flower get a size up to 40 cm and is short-living.
Flowering Period: Spring - Summer

Bulbophyllum echinolabium J.J. Sm. 1934
© Orchid
Image: Bulbophyllum echinolabium J.J. Sm. 1934, flower macro
Photographer: Kitisak “Nat” Jaidee

We found the Bulbophyllum echinolabium quite a while ago in the orchid shop
of our friends and supporters Phrao Orchids in Kamtieng market, Chiang Mai, North Thailand.
While we stepped in the shop, there was a nice sweet fragrance from some Aerides
and Rynchostylis orchids, but as more we went inside the shop,
the scent changed into a penetrating smell.
Soon we found the source, it was the very big flower of a Bulbophyllum echinolabium orchid.
We made a few shots of this impressive flower.
At home we looked at the pictures, because of all the metal fences in back,
the flower looked like a caged predator. The image would fit the bad smell,
but we decided not use it and the next day we went back to the orchid shop.
The flower was gone. Katai, the shop owner, a young Thai girl,
with a big knowledge about orchids, told us, that, while an insect is touching the
flower at some parts, the flower will immediatly start to wither.
Katai promised us to phone us when the Bulbophyllum echinolabium
is blooming again. 2 - 3 weks later we´ve got the awaited phone call
and so we can show the biggest Bulbophyllum flower as a beautiful orchid
and not as a caged predator
In this way a heartly THANKS to Phrao Orchids,
especially to Katai (what would we do without Your kind help)
and to her younger brother, we gave them the nicknames Mrs and Mr Bulbo.

© Orchid
Image: Bulbophyllum echinolabium J.J. Sm. 1934
Photographer: Kitisak “Nat” Jaidee

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