Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dendrobium dichaeoides

Dendrobium dichaeoides is another species from the highlands of Papua New Guinea, but is very different from the Dendrobium agathodaemonis, the species, also from Papua, that I posted recently.  This species has a pendant, creeping growth habit with beautiful opposite leaves on the stems.  Its species name, dichaeoides, refers to the similarity of its foliage to another orchid genus, Dichaea.  The growth are 10-15 cm long and the flowers, which come in these bright clusters are 1 cm in size.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Neofinetia falcata

This is actually my son's plant, though I have a number of different Neofinetias as well.  He does grow it in my plant case and so I suppose that justifies its inclusion here.  He purchased the plant at one of our society auctions and it has flourished.  It is just finishing blooming with two flower spikes, ten flowers and is sending up several new fans of leaves as well.

For those who do not know, Neofinetia falcata is native to Japan and has been extensively inter-breed by them producing all sorts of interesting variations of leaves, roots and flowers, including flowers that are not just plain white like the wild species.  This plant, to our surprise, showed some pink color especially in the long spurs, but does not seem as fragrant as some clones.

This plant is 10 cm tall and the fans equally wide.  The flowers have spurs that are very long and the whole flower is 7 cm from top to bottom.  It is growing in a mesh basket on a mound of live sphagnum, the way many expert growers of this species recommend.  We try to give it a drier rest in the winter when the temperatures are somewhat cooler also.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dendrobium agathodaemonis

Dendrobium agathodaemonis is a tiny plant, only a couple of centimeters tall with a mat thin little stems, each with a few leaves, but it produces flowers that dwarf the plant, about three centimeters long and in this case a cherry red color.  I have another clone that is pink with a white lip, but these flowers are completely red.  The plant is blooming from seed for the first time.

Dendrobium agathodaemonis is closely related to Dendrobium cutherbertsonii and some consider it a variety of that species.  There are obvious differences, though perhaps not enough to make it a species in its own right.  The lip does not have the dark coloration of Dendrobium cuthbertsonii and the growths are thin and wiry rather than having distinct pseudobulbs.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Acianthera bragae

Acianthera bragae, formerly known as Pleurothallis sarracenia is an intriguing miniature orchid.  From Brazil, its thick, channeled leaves are only 2-3 cm long and the flowers the same size.  The plant grows as a rambling mat of leaves and the flowers come in pairs from the base of the leaves.  The flowers are tubular, look like little slugs and the flowers in a pair usually face in opposite directions.  On some clones the leaves are spotted, but mine shows none of the spotting.  It flowers once a year and I grow it on a small mount from which it rambles off in all directions.  I had intended to take more pictures of the whole plant, but the flowers were finished before I got around to it and so I am posting just this one picture.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dendrobium cuthbertsonii var. semi-alba

Dendrobium cuthbertsonii is probably my favorite orchid, though it's always hard to choose favorites.  It's flowers are huge for the size of the plant, they last six months or longer, and they come in an array of different colors.  I even like the fact that they are somewhat of a challenge to grow.

The most common color is red, but the plants come in every shade of red, orange, yellow and white, even in bicolor forms.  They are native to the mountains of Papua New Guinea, but many of the colors are the result of hybridizing and selective breeding.  Some of these are also easier to grow.

This is a pale yellow form that is referred to as semi-alba.  My plant is in bloom almost year around and continues to produce new flowers as the old ones fade.  The plant itself is 2 cm tall, and the flowers are 3 cm long.  I grow it cool and mounted and give it as much light as I can.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Homalopetalum pumilio

Homalopetalum pumilio is a tiny relative of the huge Cattleyas, the smallest of which dwarf this micro-miniature plant. It is from Mexico, Central America and western South America. It has tiny pseudobulbs 5 mm tall with a leave at the top of the pseudobulb that is 8 mm long. The flowers, however, are huge for the size of the plant, 5-6 cm tall that either green or whitish-green in color. The flowers come singly on wiry inflorescences that are around 5 cm long. It is one of my favorite miniature orchids.