The Stanhopea were named after the fourth Earl Stanhope, president of the London Medical Botanical Society, 1829-1837.
The Stanhopea orchids, which are mostly epiphytic, have two to three inch pseudobulbs topped with dark green, pleated leaves. The short-lived, large, waxy flowers usually appear in the summer or in the early fall, and hang dramatically out of the bottom of the pot or basket. They grow best in baskets made from one and one-half inch wire mesh.
Stanhopea grandiflora, from northern South America, has large, fragrant, ivorywhite flowers. Stanhopea wardii, found growing from Mexico to Venezuela, has fragrant, yellowish flowers marked with maroon rings and spots.
Stanhopea orchids prefer cool to cold night temperatures, shaded to filtered light, and to be kept evenly moist, but slightly drier during the winter. They resent being repotted.
Learn how to grow orchids: