This photograph of a group of Calypso bulbosa v. occidentalis shows newly emerging orchid flowers. The two buds on the lower left show the degrees of rotation of the flower. In the background are redwood leaves both green and brown making perfect forest habitat.
Calypso bulbosa Orchid Information and Helpful Links to Other Recommended Places for Deeper Research
THE BIG PICTURE
This is a link with good information for growing Calypso bulbosa but limited to the North American continent. It illustrates the diversity of Calypso habitat and gives examples of various suitable forest hosts throughout the range of this terrestrial orchid around the world.
Named after the Greek oceanid nymph, Kalypso, who lived in peaceful isolation in a luxurious cave on an island called Ogygia, the mysterious and beautiful Calypso orchid prefers solitude and undisturbed sanctuary. Within the northern forested regions around the globe are found suitable microclimates for Calypso. First look at the big picture to decide if your climate and location are within this zone. Local native plant societies, orchid clubs, and university horticultural facilities can be a great place to start gathering information. Preserves and parks where successful colonies of Calypso can be observed are valuable places to see and feel the kind of conditions of shade and forest that naturally support Calypso in your area. Historical records of local populations of Calypso, if any, may be all that you have to go by.
This next link is to a search page generated in the United States Department of Agriculture database. It shows links to the details of the two varieties of Calypso on the NA continent including way too much to list here. This is a very useful site.
Here is a link about the fungal partners of the orchids in general. The seed of Calypso requires a fungal partner for development. Many fungi are capable of forming this relationship with the tiny seed. You can make a lifetime study of the fungal symbiont. I believe a healthy, chemically free forest of the right trees for Calypso in your area will support the right fungi and have the greatest chance for success without any digging or fertilizing on your part. Calypso doesn't require hard work, just wise initial choices and patience.
Calypso bulbosa has two small, about 4 to 6 inches long, brittle roots that make transplanting very risky. Beyond and within the roots of a successful plant is a symbiotic fungus that is necessary for the seed to develop. Nature supplies this with abundance, people haven't quite figured it out yet. Do not move a plant unless, as they say, the bulldozer is bearing down on it. Seed is the best way to establish this orchid in a new suitable site. This is the first seed company to offer this orchid seed in large quantities for naturalizing and research. When you purchase Calypso orchid seed from The Calypso Orchid Company you are assured that I uphold the strictest standards of care to bring you high quality source verified seed from my own property.
We humans are in the research phase of working with this orchid. Nature knows what works and has had a system in place for thousands of years. I deliver fresh viable seed. I make no guarantees once the seed is in your hands. I will give you all the advice I can and certainly respond to any problems that arise. I want to see Calypso repatriated in her native land and you are an essential partner in the project. Your comments and questions will be answered quickly and personally.