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Sarcochilus abbreviated as Sarco in horticultural trade – a genus of Orchids.

Image of Sarcochilus plant at Google

Sarcochilus is a genus of orchids belonging to the orchid family, Orchidaceae. This genus Sarcochilus is abbreviated as Sarco in horticultural trade. This genus comprises of 25 species.
They are endemic to Northern Australia, Eastern Australia, Tasmania and New Caledonia. The name is derived from the Greek words sarx (= flesh) and cheilos (= lip) that refers to the fleshy labellum of these orchids.

This is a non-monophyletic genus.Many species of this genus have become endangered or vulnerable, due to illegal collecting.

Some of the species are:
– Sarcochilus aequalis D.L.Jones et M.A.Clem., 1991
– Sarcochilus australis (Lindl.) Rchb.f. in Walp., 1861 Butterfly Orchid
– Sarcochilus borealis (Nicholls) D.L.Jones, 1989
– Sarcochilus ceciliae F.Muell., 1865 Fairy Bells (mostly a lithophyte)
– Sarcochilus chrysanthus Schltr., 1913
– Sarcochilus dilatatus F.Muell., 1859 Brown Butterfly Orchid (epiphyte)
– Sarcochilus falcatus R.Br., 1810 Orange Blossom Orchid (epiphyte)
– Sarcochilus fitzgeraldii F.Muell., 1870 Ravine Orchid (mainly lithophytic)
– Sarcochilus gildasii N.Hallé, 1986
– Sarcochilus hartmannii F.Muell., 1874 Hartmann’s Orchid (almost completely lithophytic)
– Sarcochilus hillii (F.Muell.) F.Muell, 1860
– Sarcochilus hillii var. hillii.
– Sarcochilus hillii var. thycolus N.Hallé, 1986
– Sarcochilus hirticalcar (Dockrill) M.A.Clem. et B.J.Wallace, 1989
– Sarcochilus iboensis Schltr., 1913
– Sarcochilus koghiensis Schltr., 1911
– Sarcochilus odoratus Schltr., 1913
– Sarcochilus olivaceous Lindl., 1839
– Sarcochilus parviflorus Lindl. in Edwards’s, 1838
– Sarcochilus ramuanus (Kraenzl.) Schltr. in K.M.Schumann & C.A.G.Lauterbach, 1905
– Sarcochilus rarus Schltr., 1906
– Sarcochilus roseus (Clemesha) Clemesha, 1969 (true lithophyte)
– Sarcochilus serrulatus D.L.Jones, 1972

Growing/Caring conditions for Sarcochilus
– Select a location which receives natural sunlight.
– Care should be taken that the location is not too hot.
– Indirect light is preferred in summer.
– Plant the orchid in the location.
– Water the orchid well.
– Care should be taken, not to overwater the orchid.
– Keep the orchid moist.
– Plant blooms in the fall to spring.
– Repotting annually is better for some orchids.
– Plant the orchid in a potting mix of mulch for tropical plants.
– Fertilize the orchid with plant food that is specific for orchids.
– Control the way roots get their oxygen because it is an important factor when they grow.
– This plant needs rich and fertile soil.
– This plant needs well draining soil.
– Add tree fern fibers (for small plants), several pieces of coarse fir bark, or sphagnum moss for draining.
– Dead growth and branches should be removed.

The following fungal and bacterial infections are known to attack the plant.
– Leaf spot is caused by Colletotrichum and Gleosporium.
– Leaf blight – caused by Pythium.
– Collar blocth – caused by Penicilium thomii.
– Collar rot – caused by Sclerotium.
– Orchid wilt – caused by Sclerotium rolfsli.

To avoid the above, fungicides like Captan, Dithane, Agrosan and Ceresan are very effective.
– More than 32 diseases are known to occur on orchids with the most common are Cymbidium mosaic virus.
– All infected plants should be isolated to prevent spreading of the disease for avoiding.
– The most commonly reported insects pests on orchids are thrips, aphids, spidermite, soft scale, mealy bugs, orchid weevil, snail and slugs.
– They feed on tender young shoot, suck the sap and damage the young bud and shoot and also act as the carrier of different diseases.
– These can be controlled by effective insecticides like Parathion, Malathion, BHC, Aldrin, Dieldrin, etc. Metaldehyde has proved to be very effective in killing slugs and snails.

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