April, 2019

Show and Tell


From Jan Hennessey:



Phalaenopsis schilleriana

Dendrobium teretifolium var. fairfaxii f. aureum

Most often this species is white. The flowers of this one are pale yellow.



From Scott McGregor:


Some more terrestrials

Serapias cordigera

Serapias lingua (left) and Serapias cordigera

Orchis italica, spotted leaf

My favorite European terrestrial species. I have two of these, one with purple-spotted leaves and the other with unmarked leaves. This is the spotted-leaf one. Easy (relatively), fun, and fragrant too!

Orchis italica, two variants

There is a variety with purple-spotted leaves and one with plain leaves.  The flowers turn out to be pretty similar, although the spotted leaf variety (on the right in the picture) seems to have more color in the “arms” and “upper body” of the little guys…

Anacamptis papilionachea

A new species for me. it is a widely distributed European terrestrial.  There are many subspecies with different lip colorations and patterning.

Other orchids in bloom...

Coelogyne mossiae 'Mendenhall'

Here’s one that opened up in the last few days.  I love Coelogynes as a group, but many of them have a leggy growth habit that makes them hard to contain.  This one has attractive pseudobulbs that stay clumped in a tight group, crystalline white flowers with a clear yellow marked lip, and fragrant too.



Just for fun, a picture with two Sophronitis coccinea 4N, and one of Sophronitis mantiqueirae in the middle. The coccinea flowers are interesting in that they open small, get bigger in a week (left flower) and keep growing until they fade (right flower).

Diplo frustration

Diplocaulobiums are Dendrobium relatives known for elegant flowers, produced in flush blooms many times per year, wonderfully fragrant but with a flower lifespan measured in hours-- not even a whole day.  They open mid-morning and are gone by late afternoon.  Of course the day before I go on a trip, that's when this Diplocaulobium arachnoideum decided to load up the buds for opening without me!  It has bloomed three times now, always without me there to enjoy or take a pic.  The flowers turn red after they close up.  A similar species is D. aratiferum (this time caught in bloom) that has an amazingly intense scent of watermelon.

Diplocaulobium aratiferum

Diplo Time Lapse

(Click on each image to see a larger one, use your "back" button to return)

A bit of fun, thanks to my very supportive wife, Laurie.  The first pic (above) is of promising buds on Thursday, the day before I left for a trip.  What follows is a sequence of pictures starting at 9am on Friday morning with the buds just beginning to open, various shots on Friday up to almost midnight (I thought they would be wilted by then), and then two shots on Saturday where you can see the buds closing and turning pink and then red.  Laurie reports that this species, like D. aratriferum, smells strongly and distinctly of watermelon.  I find these species easy to grow outside and worth the novelty, albeit brief.



From Roberta Fox:


A few of my terrestrials are also in bloom...

Ophrys speculum

If you were a male bee, wouldn't you think "she" was beautiful?

Ophrys cerastes (scolpax)

The taxonomy of this species is very confused - Orchidwiz showed well over a hundred synonyms and subspecies. Current Kew assignment is Ophrys cornuta.

And the rest...also grown outdoors, unless othewise noted

Pleione formosana

Pleiones lose their leaves in the fall, and in the spring bloom just as the new leaves emerge. Many species of Pleione need a very cold winter to bloom. However, this one is satisfied with what passes for winter in southern California. I reduce watering only a little, as I do with everything when it is cold. It does not seem to need a dry winter, and in fact does better being treated like everything else. The ideal time to pot is when they have gone dormant.

Restrepia antennifera 'Cow Hollow'

Last month I was excited by the large size of Restrepia sanguinea. Then early in March, Restepia antennifera bloomed and was twice as large as that one. My hand shows the scale. This flower is at least 4 inches in length.

Octomeria praestans

This Pleurothallid blooms at least twice a year, since it was in bloom when I got it in the fall, and it has bloomed again. Other than learning that it comes from Brazil,I was not able to find much information about it, but the long succulent leaves make me guess that it comes from an area where it is seasonally rather dry since most Pleurothallids don't have this much water reserve.

Sarcochilus falcatus

This species seems to particularly want to grow mounted, where other members of the genus accept pots. I grow it in a shady, damp area.

Sophronitis cernua ssp. Mineira

Flowers are a bit smaller than the usual S. cernua, but the emerge in a cluster. This species has a reputation as wanting a bit more warmth than most Sophronits, but this one has grown vigorously outside, and blooms at least twice a year.

Encyclia maculosa (Prosthechea guttata)

This species needs to grow mounted. The intriguing spiky flowers emerge sequentially, and the plant will be in bloom at least until fall.

Dendrobium falcorostrum

I'll let this one represent the Australian Dendrobiums that are putting on such a show this time of year. The flowers are crystaline. It needs a winter cool-down to bloom, but I don't reduce the water any more than for the rest of my plants. Fred Clarke describe having one in his greenhouse that just kept getting bigger, but not blooming. He put it ouside in disgust because it was taking up so much room,, and only then did it bloom, profusely.

Lockhartia bennettii

This species (and indeed, the whole genus) needs to grow mounted or in a basket. The "braided" leaves grow downward. The flowers can emerge from the leaf axils, but more often it blooms at the terminal end of the growth.

Phalaenopsis stuartiana

In the greenhouse, like most Phalsaenopsis. I have found that the species Phals do better for me in open baskets with minimal media. This species has beautiful mottled leaves

Phalaenopsis stuartiana ssp. nobilis

This yellow form of the species has similar markings on the flowers, but the leaves are not mottled, or if so only very slightly.

Sarcoglottis sceptrodes

This terrestrial grows in the greenhouse, but it could also grow nicely as a houseplant. The leaves are attractive, so that it is nice to look at even when not in bloom. The weird little flowers look to me like seahorses. Or maybe dragons. The leaves die back after bloomng, but the new rosettes emerge at about the same time. I grow this in a well-drained potting soil.

Microterangis hildebrandii

In the greenhouse. When spikes emerge, the new ones are hard to distinguish from spent ones. It is best to wait until flowers start to open when cleaning up, to avoid cutting the wrong thing. Spikes open starting at the terminal end, moving upward to toward the plant. It grows in a wooden basket with little or no media, roots run wild. Little flowers, but lots of them.