Chiloschista is a genus of epiphytes, incorporating more then 21 species, all native to India, South East Asia, Indonesia, and Australia.

They are extraordinary looking, miniature sized orchids, that are mounted predominantly on cork.

They are known as, “plants without leaves”, because plants of this genus consists mainly of an aerial root system that is equipped with photosynthetic cells. The stem is either very short of absent and the presence of leaves is very rare. The roots are strong, 2 - 4 mm thick and up to 15 cm long. When wet, the roots are green and look very healthy.

The plants flower during the spring. The inflorescence can be up to 15 cm long and can support from 5 to 15 pale yellow, yellow, yellow-green, orange or brownish coloured showy flowers. The flowers are strong and the flower size is consistent, and the flowers last a few weeks. More than one inflorescence per plant is common.

I disagree with those that suggest: “Roots like to dry out between watering”. Many growers keep the plants in a “horizontal” position and not vertical (hanging) in order to keep them moist longer. I let the cork float on water for days.

Chiloschista species grow well in warm areas and love humidity and shade. Mounting the plants onto cork, barren bark or any other wooden support is a must. The roots must be kept moist and protected from any physical damage as well as the sun.

Shiloschista plants may have a limited life span, maybe 6-7 years? When the time comes, the roots start to dry out and you can clearly see the end is near.