Thursday, October 16, 2014

Paphiopedilum helenae

This is a Paphiopedilum I would not be without.  It is the smallest of the Paphiopedilums and a very recent discovery (1996).  Paphiopedilum helenae is from Vietnam and the plant is only 12 cm across with 5 cm flowers.  I've seen different examples of the species and there is considerable variation in flower color and shape, but I have not seen any that were not charming.  Interestingly, this species does best for me when grown with my Masdevallias and New Guinea Dendrobiums in cooler conditions.  Perhaps that is just due to the fact that it gets higher humidty and better light when grown with them, but it thrives and blooms under those conditions.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Dendrobium cuthbertsonii bicolor

This is one of my many plants of this charming species.  It comes in a rainbow of colors including this bicolor form, and has flowers that last for months.  Dendrobium cuthbertsonii is from the highlands of New Guinea, is a micro-miniature plant, 2 cm or smaller with huge flowers.  It is cool growing and does not thrive unless the temperatures are kept down, but very high light will compensate to some extent for higher temperatures.  I grow some plants mounted and some in pots in live sphagnum and all do well for me.  This plant is a bicolor and has unusually large flowers.  It is probably a polyploid.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Paphiopedilum sukhakulii

Paphiopedilum sukhakulii is a species from Thailand.  It is a smaller plant but has large and dramatic flowers.  Rather unusual for this species, my plant always has two flowers per flowers, rather than just one.  Not only are the flowers beautiful, however, but the plant is too, with beautifully patterned fans of leaves.  I photographed this on white for a change, though only one flower was open at the time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Phalaenopsis violacea var. alba

I do not grow but a couple of Phalaenopsis since I have neither the room nor the conditions for them.  The couple I do grow are not in my orchidarium but on a bathroom windowsill.  This is one of them, Phalaenopsis violacea var. alba, a variety without the usual purple markings of this species.  It is from Sumatra and Malaysia and blooms consecutively on stems that continue to lengthen for years.  It is not only very beautifully colored, in my opinion, but has a wonderful fragrance on warm summer days.  The plant can become very large with broad flat leaves, but the flowers are around 4 cm.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dendrobium Flower Baby

Dendrobium Flower Baby is another hybrid of Dendrobium cuthbertsonii, this with Dendrobium victoria-reginae, a species with thin canes.  The flowers resemble that species also but the plant size has been much reduced and the canes have turned to thick upright pseudobulbs.  The plant (now) is 9 cm tall and the flowers 3 cm.  This, however, is a seedling blooming for the first time and the plant and flowers may be larger on a subsequent blooming.  It will probably have more flowers on subsequent bloomings also.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Homalopetalum pumilio

Homalopetalum pumilio is a tiny species from Mexico and Central America and is related to Cattleya.  The plant with its tiny pseudobulbs and leaves is only 2 cm tall.  They grow in succession and each growth produces one flower.  The flowers dwarf the plant at 4 cm, though flower size varies considerably with the plants from Mexico having larger flowers than those from Central America.  The flowers from the Mexican cersion are also more white than the green flowers from Central America.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Promenaea stapelioides

The Promenaeas are all cool growing, lower light species from Brazil.  This species, my favorite, is named for its flowers' resemblance to the flowers of a Stapelia plant.  The plant is 8 cm tall with bluish-green leaves, small pseudobulbs and large 4 cm flowers.  I grow it in live sphagnum in a plastic net pot and keep it moist with high humidity.