Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dendrobium subuliferum

This miniature species is from Papua New Guinea and belongs to the Oxyglossum group of Dendrobiums, a group of mostly high altitude species with very long-lasting flowers.  This is first-bloom seedling and has only one flower at present, but if happy can be very floriferous.  My plant, at present is 5 cm, but should grow a bit larger.  The flowers are 1 cm in size and have a sparkling texture which sets off the beautiful purple tip to the column.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Masdevallia ampullacea 'Connor'

Here is a small Masdevallia species from Ecuador and another from Saltatrices group.  The plant is 5 cm tall and the flowers 3 cm including the tails.  It blooms during the winter and is faintly scented.  This particular plant was awarded by the American Orchid Society.  It is very similar in color and appearance to Masdevallia strobelii (below), but the flower are much smaller than the flowers of that species.  It was awarded as Masdevallia aurea, but subsequently identified as Masdevallia ampullacea.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dendrobium cuthbertsonii

My favorite orchid, but not always that easy to grow.  I've learned over the years (thanks, Andy) that they like very high light and are much more temperature tolerant when given high light, very little fertilizer (some claim that fertilizer kills them, but my do well with small amount in nearly every watering), and lots of water and humidity.

The species comes from the highlands of Papua New Guinea, though it is also found in some lowland areas, and apparently there is a company in Taiwan that is breeding these warmer growing plants and producing plants that are very tolerant of warmer temperatures.  In any case it is notable for its unusual foliage, tiny growths and huge flowers.

The individual growths are around an inch tall with beautifully "pebbled" leaves and produce flowers that are well over an inch in size and that come in red, orange, yellow, pink, white and bicolor shades.  The flowers are very long lasting, staying fresh for six months or more, and the plants are seldom out of flower for that reason.

I still remember seeing this species for the first time many years ago and falling in love with it.  It has taken a long time and a lot of good advice to master the growing of it, however, but this seedling, blooming for the second time is evidence of success.  It is grown in a small clay pot in live sphagnum less than a foot from four T5 HO bulbs.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Masdevallia strobelii

One of the smaller Masdevallias but one that can be covered with flowers when it blooms well as mine did this year, Masevallia strobelii belongs to the Saltatrices section of the genus Masdevallia and has the typical features of the species in that section, a slight bulge or "belly" at the bottom  of the flower, the flower tube lined with glandular hairs and bright color.  This species is also highly fragrant and will perfume a whole room with its blooms.  Fragrant, colorful, and prolific bloomer, what more could one ask?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dendrobium Illusion

Dendrobium Illusion is a hybrid of two New Guinean species, Dendrobium cuthbertsonii, a tiny species in the Oxyglossum section, and Dendrobium lawesii, a much larger plant with long cane-like stems in the Pedilonum section.  It has some of the better features of both its parents.  It is much smaller in size than Dend. lawesii and has the large, long-lasting flowers of Dend. cuthbertsonii and is certainly easier to grow and bloom than that species.

I have three plants and this is one has the largest flowers, which are also more orange than the other two clones, but it does not seem to bloom with as many flowers as the others.  The flowers are so very long lasting that the plant is rarely out of bloom.  As the old flowers finally fade new buds are opening.  Nevertheless its best bloom time is in early winter when these photos were taken.  I grow it in a clay pot in live sphagnum moss.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trisetella hoeijeri

Trisetella hoeijeri is a tiny species that was once classified as Masdevallia.  Most of the Trisetellas have small reddish-brown flowers with short tails, but this one, obviously, is different.  The plant is a few centimeters tall and the flowers are 4 cm from tip to tip.  My plant blooms with a lot of flowers in early winter, but produces an odd flower off and on throughout the year.  It is from Ecuador and is grown mounted and cool.