Neofinetia falcata (at XTBG, by Zhu Renbin)
Neofinetia falcata is a species native to Japan, Korea and China and has been cultivated in these countries since the late 1600s. It is treasured by the Japanese and sometimes referred to as the Samurai orchid; there are legends of the samurai carrying their plants into battle with them. Neofinetia falcata is a diminutive plant with stiff 2- to 3-inch leaves arranged in a tight fan shape. The 1-inch flowers are pure white and star-shaped with a curved nectary or spur (the less-common pink variety is shown here), and have a sweet jasminelike fragrance that will fill the room in the evening. The intensity of the fragrance produced by such a small plant is incredible.