July is flowering season for the select clones of Neofinetia falcata, known as fuukiran in Japanese. This is always a pleasant time of year with its lazy hot days and orchid shows, or ran-ten. I’ve managed over the years to take pictures of some pretty spectacular plants, both in terms of rarity and size. What follows is a sampling. So, I’ll let the pictures mostly speak for themselves.
Here is a typical scene at a fuukiran show in Japan. In a show plants must be put into special glazed pots, some of which are elegantly hand painted. They must be planted the traditional method – in a mound of long fibered sphagnum moss.
The highest ranked fuukiran is Fukiden. While it remains the top ranked form, it is not the most sought after these days. In recent years the value of this plant has dropped 50%, but the cost of a single fan remains high – around $500 US. A plant this size commands a wallet breaking price.
A lovely easy to grow and fairly cheap form is Tenkeifukurin. The variegation of this form is very stable and it clumps well. This is a wonderful specimen that represents 20 or more years of growth.
To see these lovely plants in “person”, check out this video of a show near my house in southern Japan:
Though not technically a fuukiran or a pure Neofinetia, Kibana Furan is still very lovely and commands a high value. A form as nice as this one, especially at this size, is valuable indeed.
A closely related form, also a hybrid, is Kurimubana Fuuran. This is a large specimen.
One of the most valuable of the Kibana Furan forms is Yuubae. The flowers are very dark and large. A plant this size would be worth pretty serious cash – into the hundreds of dollars.
These are pretty heavy pages, so I’ve decided to put them in a series of posts.