Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sophronitis coccinea 'Fourth Dimension'

My 4N Sophronitis coccinea is in bloom once again, this year with two flowers.  I find it a rather slow grower, though it has good form and blooms reliably every spring.  The flowers are 7 cm across when fully developed, but when they first open are only 3 cm and get larger over quite a long period of time.  This species is known for its brilliant color and small size and has been much used in hybridizing for those reasons.  This particular clone is a tetraploid and has extra fine size, shape and substance for that reason.  I grow it in a clay pot in sphagnum.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dendrobium cuthbertsonii bicolor

I obtained this plant of Dendrobium cuthbertsonii at the Portland Orchid Society Show at which the American Orchid Society's fall meetings were held this past November.  It had one flower when I purchased it, but that soon faded.  The photos are of the plant which is now coming into bloom once again.  It is at present in a one inch clay pot in sphagnum and needs to be repotted.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dendrobium masarangense var. masarangense

Dendrobium masarangense has several varieties, but the difference between them is insignificant for the most part.  From what I can tell this variety or subspecies, ssp. masarangense,  is marked especially by its whitish flowers.  It is one of tiniest of the Oxyglossum Dendrobiums.  My plant is 6 cm tall and the flowers 2 cm from the tip to the end of the spur and 1 cm in spread, but it can be even smaller.  It certainly puts on a show when it blooms in the winter.  My plant, not yet all that large has around 40 flowers and buds.  It is quite widespread through Salawesi, New Guinea, New Britain, Bougainville, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji.  It is found both at high and low altitudes and should show some temperature tolerance for that reason, though I grow my plant intermediate to cool.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Angraecum cf. breve

My Angraecum breve is in bloom again, this time with two flowers.  It had one flower last year and I pollinated that and harvested the pod just a few weeks ago, but I had worried that holding a seed pod for a year would weaken the plant and that it wouldn't bloom this year.  To my surprise it started two spikes.

The plant is a micro-miniature, a little fan of patterned leaves 4 cm (1.5 in.) across.  The star-shaped flower is 3 cm (1 in. plus) in size and the spur is over 10 cm long (approx. 4.5 in.) when the flower opens and it is fully uncurled.  The sepals are greenish when first open but soon fade to a lovely crystalline white.

Once again I took photos at different stages of the flowers' development.  The flower's coiled spur I find particularly charming when it is first tightly curled beneath the flower and then also as it begins to uncurl.  Very early on in its development the nectar is already visible in the spur, which is nearly transparent.

Developing Buds

Newly Opened Flowers

Mature Flowers

I received the following note from a friend: "I should tell you that your plant and the others that have come out of Madagascar recently under the name of Angraecum breve don't match the description for the species, so until the taxonomists can work out what this different, wonderful species is, it might be good to include 'cf.' in the name e.g. Angraecum cf. breve or just Angraecum sp. 'breve'."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dendrobium agathodaemonis (pink)

Dendrobium agathodaemonis is considered by many to be a synonym of Dendrobium cuthbertsonii.  To the untrained eye, however, there are obvious differences, though they may not warrant species status.  Dend. agathodaemonis, though the flowers are of the same shape and size as Dendrobium cuthbertsonii, lacks the dark markings on the lip and has growths that are much thinner.  Both of these features are obvious in the following photos.  Like its near relative it is a prolific bloomer when grown well and has flowers that come in a rainbow of colors ( I have a red clone as well) and last many months.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mediocalcar decoratum 'Jannetje'

I posted another species from this genus recently, Mediocalcar versteegii.  Like that species this is from New Guinea and a rambler.  Each growth grows on top of the previous growths and the plant, as a result, forms a dense mat of growths.  This plant, however, is much small, each growth only 2 cm tall, and thus it is much easier to contain and can even be grown in a pot as mine is, though the roots do not stay in a pot.  The growths are little cylindrical pseudobulbs with three or four fat little leaves at the top of each like a little propeller and with flowers look like little candies.  The plant was given both a Certificate of Botanical Recognition and a Certificate of Cultural Merit by the American Orchid Society many years ago.  It prefers cool temperatures and good humidity but is easy to grow.