The commonly cultivated species is Phaius tankervilliae, syn. P. grandiflora. These plants are more commonly known as "Nun's Orchids". The spreading dorsal sepal and petals have an appear similiar to the head covering worn by some orders of nuns, hence the common name. All species are native to tropical Asia, from Japan, China, westward into Africa. In their native habitats they are often grown as landscape plants in full sun. The flowers are sequential bloomers, with a bloom spike which sometimes reaches four feet tall
Advantageously grown out of doors ( in tropical situations) in a rich compost. They enjoy being moist, but not wet. If kept in pots, the medium should be well drained, but moist. The Phaius are heavy feeders, so feed heavily and regularly. The Phaius love bright light and warm temperatures, but can withstand temperatures down to 40 o F for brief periods.
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