Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dendrobium seranicum

This is another Dendrobium from the Oxyglossum group, though it does not come from New Guinea, like so many of the others. This species is native to the Molucca Islands, but comes from high elevations and requires cool temperatures.  Its name, in fact, means "mountain dweller."

Each growth with its narrow leaves is about 10 cm tall and the flowers a little over 2 cm, but it blooms on the older leafless pseudobulbs and blooms during the winter.  Like most of the species in this group the paired flowers are very long lasting, staying in good condition for months.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ophidion cunabulum

Ophidion cunabulum, formerly classified as Cryptophoranthus cunabulus, is a tiny orchid in the Pleurothallid group.  The lance-shaped leaves are approximately 5 cm long and the flowers about 1.5 cm, blooming, one or two flowers at a time successively in the pendant spikes.

The plant is from Colombia and both names refer to the shaped of the flower, Ophidon referring to the snake-head shape of the flowers and cunabulum meaning "cradle-shaped."  The plant is easy to grow and blooms freely over a long period of time.

My plant is in a small bonsai pot with the flowers dangling over the sides, but the plant could also very be grown on a mount.  It is tolerant of different temperatures, but prefers fairly high humidity.  I grow the plant under rather high light and the leaves and flower spikes are shorter than they would be otherwise.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dendrobium Illusion #3

Dendrobium Illusion is a hybrid of the micro-miniature Dendrobium cuthbertsonii and the large cane-type Dendrobium lawesii.  It has short, upright canes that are reminiscent of lawesii, but only a few inches tall.  The flowers are most like cutherbertsonii, but it is easier to grow and freer blooming than that species.  In fact, because the flowers last so long - up to six months - the three plants I have are never out of flower.  This one has the shortest canes and the best flowers and is in a 1.5 inch clay pot, though the pot is not visible because of the moss.


These are the parents.  The first photo is of Dendrobium lawesii and the second of Dendrobium cuthbertsonii.  Both are very variable in color, so I suppose this cross could be make to bloom in all the colors of the rainbow.

A link to a post showing another plant of this cross is here: http://orchidsinbloom-ron.blogspot.com/2010/07/dendrobium-illusion.html

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Maxillaria tenuifolia

Know as the coconut orchid for its scent - it smells exactly like fresh coconut - Maxillaria tenuifolia is from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  It is easy to grow and a common orchid in collections, often growing into very large clumps with hundreds of flowers.

Because it grows into a large specimen plant so quickly it is an orchid I no longer grow.  The plant itself, however, is very reasonably sized, with 3-4 cm flat pseudobulbs and a single narrow, 20-25 cm leaf at the top of the pseudobulb.  The 4-5 cm flowers arise from the base of the pseudobulbs.

The genus name, Maxillaria, refers to the jaw-like base of the lip in this species and other larger-flowered species in the genus.  The species name, tenuifolia, refers to the narrow, grass-like foliage of the plant.  It is an attractive plant with large and beautiful flowers.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Angraecopsis breviloba

This tiny miniature, related to Angraecum, Aerangis and the other Angraecoids, is from Kenya and Tanzania.  The plant itself is only a couple of cm in size and bears long flower spikes, around 15 cm, that are covered with small, almost transparent greenish white flowers.  The nectar in the spurs is visible in the pictures, indicating how nearly transparent the flowers are.  It seems very adaptable, since even though it is from warmer areas grows well with my cool-growing plants.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Masdevallia decumana

My mounted Masdevallia decumana is in bloom again.  I have several plants, but this is the only one I have mounted and it seems to grow and bloom better than the potted plants.  Its blooms are somewhat short-lived, but it is spectacular when in full bloom.  The species is from Ecuador.

Acinopetala chontalensis

Formerly Masdevallia chontalensis (still that if you don't accept Dr. Luer's new classifications), this small species is a real jewel.  It is from Nicaragua and is less than 6 cm tall with bloom that appear on short spikes just above the foliage.  It almost always has two flowers per spike and the flowers, though small are very colorful.  It is named for Chonal County in Nicaragua, one of its native habitats.