Monday, July 23, 2012

Promenaea xanthina 'Botanica'

Promenaea xanthina is a miniature orchid from Brazil that produces an abundance of lovely yellow flowers when well grown.  It belongs to a genus of about fourteen species, all from Brazil.  The plant have angled pseudobulbs and soft greyish-green leaves, two per pseudobulb.  The flowers are produced from the base of the pseudobulbs and the plants generally prefer cool temperatures.

My plant of this species is 8-10 cm tall and the flowers are 5 cm in size, a bright clear yellow with some spotting at the base of the lip and column.  They open widely and have a very typical "orchid" shape.  My plant blooms in early summer and is grown in a plastic net pot and live sphagnum and seem to bloom best when the plant is undisturbed and beginning to overflow its pot.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stenia pallida

This was purchased as Stenia calceolaris but proved on blooming to have been wrongly identified.  Both that species and this are found in Ecuador, but this has a much wider distribution and is found also in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Brazil.    And while I would have preferred what I ordered, am happy enough with this species and its attractive flowers..

The plant grows to 12 cm and produces a fan of leaves that are rather attractive in their own right.  The flowers are 6 cm, huge for the size of the plant, and are produced singly on semi-pendant spikes.  The plant is considered warm to hot growing but it does fine for me in cool to intermediate conditions and is grown in live sphagnum in a net pot (the decorative pot is only for photos).

Friday, July 13, 2012

Laelia sincorana

Laelia sincorana in one of the smaller Laelias (though now reclassified as Sophronitis).  Related to Cattleya, it has very large flowers for the size of the plant and very showy flowers as well.  Both plant and flowers are 10 cm and this year my plant produced three flowers, two from one growth and one from another growth.  The flowers are seasonal, however, and the plant only ever blooms for me in the spring.  All the growths produced at other times of the years are without flowers.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ornithocephalus cochleariformis

I purchased this as Ornithocephalus gladiatus which it definitely is not.  I am reasonably certain that I now have the ID correct, however.  The plant is around 10 cm and grows in a tight fan.  The flower spikes come from between the leaves and stand erect above the plant.  They are 7-8 cm long with flowers that are between 5 and 10 mm.  The plant blooms reliably every spring and is one of the few Ornithocephalus that I do not have trouble with, mostly because my conditions are too cool for them.

The name Ornithocephalus means "Bird's Head" and refers to the shape of the column.  There are approximately 20 species in the genus, though there seems to be a great deal of confusion about the different species and I see many plants and photos that are mislabeled.  They are all desirable for the abundance of blooms they produce even though the individual flowers may be very small.  A well grown plant can be completely covered with flowers, usually in white or a combination of white and green.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Masdevallia coccinea 'Dwarf Pink'

This is the dwarf form of Masdevallia coccinea, about half to two thirds the size of the ordinary form.  The species is from high altitudes in the Peruvian Andes and requires cool to cold temperatures with good humidity and air movement.  Mine seems to bloom best when it is given quite high light, high enough to turn the leaves a bit yellowish and seems to like it just a bit wetter than some of the other Masdevallia species.  I grow it in live sphagnum in a plastic pot, but not a net pot.  When happy it blooms profusely.

If anyone wonders about the colors, the flowers open a dark pink and gradually fade to a very pale pink, at least under my conditions.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dendrobium seranicum 'Brendan' CBR/AOS

Dendrobium seranicum is another species in the Oxyglossum section of Dendrobium.  Most of these come from New Guinea, a few from the surrounding areas, and almost all are cool to cold temperature plants.  One of their most notable features, though is the long-lasting quality of the flowers, often six months or more.

This species is not as showy as some, but beautiful in its own way.  The plant is 8 cm tall and the dark pink flowers 3 cm.  The flowers are carried two at time at the top of the pseudobulb and between the leaves.  The pseudobulbs continue to produces flowers at intervals even after they lose their leaves.

My plant, one of them, was awarded a Certificate of Botanical Recognition (CBR) by the American Orchid Society at the Northwest Orchid Society Show in Shoreline Washington in April.  It now has a clonal name that is the name of one of our grandsons and is still in bloom two months later with new flowers forming.