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Climber Wall Shrub

Cleisostoma filiforme

A small to large-sized, evergreen, tropical epiphytic orchid. Thin, stem-like rhizomes are densely covered with alternate, green, leaf-bearing sheaths. Green, pencil-like leaves are approximately 0.5cm wide and vary in length. The plant flowers in summer on pendulous, arching stems up to 25cm long, carrying up to thirty, small, glossy flowers. Each flower measures 1 to 1.2cm. Petals and sepals are brown-red or burgundy, the centre is yellow. Small lip is white with pink

Sarcanthus filiformis

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Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Well–drained, Moist but well–drained
Colour & scent
Spring Green
Summer Brown Yellow White Green
Autumn Brown Yellow White Green
Winter Green
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Botanical details
Native to the UK
Name status


How to grow


For successful cultivation and frequent flowering, plants require high light levels and long, light days. In summer, they would benefit from being in a warm and bright greenhouse or conservatory, but direct, mid-day sun should be avoided. The shape of leaves may indicate the plant's light requirements. Wider, darker leaves prefer bright but indirect sunlight, while thinner or pencil-like leaves need larger amount of bright light. Darker tips of the roots are a sign of actively growing plant. High air humidity (70 -80%), good air circulation and regular misting should be provided frequently when in active growth. In cooler climates with shorter days, plants may go dormant in winter. Misting may be reduced to avoid rots, but plants shouldn't be left dry for long periods. Ideal temperature range is 15°C in winter and up to 30°C during summer months. Plants can be grown in an open basket, or in a coarse, bark-based epiphyte orchid mix. They are heavy feeders and require regular application of orchid fertiliser between spring and autumn


Propagation by seed is only possible in a controlled laboratory environment. Mature plants produce sideshoots (keiki) which may be removed and potted separately, when the new roots (preferably 3 or more) are at least 2cm long.

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Conservatory and greenhouse

Remove spent flower stems at the base. Old, ''leggy'' plants with bare stems can be cut during their active growing season to reduce the size of the plant. Cut through the rhizome, below the new developed set of aerial roots. Lowering apical dominance by laying plant horizontally, or hanging upside down will support the growth of new roots


May be susceptible to scale insect and mealybugs. Thrips can cause damage on flowers and developing flower buds


Generally disease-free. Poor air movement may cause bacterial of fungal rots. Good hygiene practice and sterilising cutting tools prevent the spread of virus diseases

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