Posts Tagged ‘Pleurothallis’

Hats off to the folks who skillfully create and display bouquets of cut orchids. It’s not an easy skill to learn. This weekend, I made each of the women in my family an orchid corsage. While the project was fun, the results were mediocre. [The photo on the left shows one of the four corsages, this one using Rth. Hsinying Catherine.]

Pleurothallis tribuloides

The photo on the right is my blooming Pleur. tribuloides. A few years ago, this orchid was displayed in a local orchid society’s exhibit. I heard one of the exhibit’s visitors point to the plant and comment to a friend, “Why would anyone want to raise an orchid with such insignificant blooms?”

I’ve thought about that remark many times. I’m not sure that I have an answer. Certainly, orchids with big blossoms (I’ve referred to them in earlier posts as In-Your-Face giants) are hugely satisfying to raise.

The little ones are another matter. I’ve held a magnifying glass up to a tiny orchid and have seen a bloom with all the parts of a giant catt, only in miniature. Could be that’s the answer… these are blooms you have to go looking for. These are the ones that are easily overlooked.  And maybe that’s why, in their own way, they’re so satisfying, too.

Bulbophyllum echinolabium (inforescense)

Almost five years ago, I bought a Bulb. echinolabium seedling. This spring, for the first time, I spotted an inflorescence on the plant. I don’t usually take photos of bloomless inflorescence…but I’m making an exception here. [See February 6 post.] Talk about satisfying!

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Several nice blooms this week. See the Photos page for Laelia anceps, Slc. Livingston Sunset Fire ‘Flame’, Lc. Gold Digger ‘Orglades’ and  Pleur. platystames.

Lc. Drumbeat has been blooming for about two weeks. The larger of the two plants has seven fully opened blossoms and three more inflorescences swelling in their sheaths. The second pot of Drumbeat, a division of the specimen plant, has five blooms.

That’s the oh-joy-oh-rapture news. The bad news, which isn’t really news at all, but a couple of everlasting aggravations in the form of Epi. Parkinsonianum and Bulb. echinolabium, otherwise known collectively as feed-us-water-us-but-we-will-never-bloom plants. A couple of free-loaders.

I’m not talking unhealthy plants. These are two exquisitely robust orchids, full of strong, pest-free leaves. I bought the Epi. parkinsonianum in 2004 and the Bulb. echinolabium in 2005. The Epidendrum toyed with me in 2007, putting out two lovely blossoms and then lapsing into leaf-creating but bloomless mania.

Phal. leaf with problems

On a more serious note…something is attacking a few of my phals. The photo here of an affected leaf shows the type of damage being done. Anyone know what’s happening?

Closing on some upbeat news…Several weeks ago I mentioned that I’d caught one of the long inflorescences of Pychopsis Mendenhall on a wire in the greenhouse, snapping off the bud head. I decided to leave the truncated inflorescence to see what would happen. This post’s second photo shows the newly sprouting branch, with a second bud head – now that’s an aggravation turned to rapture.

New flower stem for broken Psychosis inflorescence

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Nine new blooms appear on the “Photos” page…eight from the greenhouse and one from a friend, Mark Prout.

The greenhouse Pleurothallis ornata (formerly shiedei) is one of the oldest Pleurothallid Alliance plants still in my collection. Often in spring the plant is covered with the thin-as-hair inflorescences and the tiny, spotted flowers. 

A long branching inflorescence of Phal. stuartiana blooms is shown. These are the first blooms on the young plant.

Paphina Majestic is a workhorse. It has rarely been out of bloom since I bought it about two years ago. Last summer it had as many as eight pendent inflorescences. The trick, I think, is maintaining a moist medium.

My Ludisia discolor sits on a pedestal in the coolest part of the greenhouse — next to the door. In the photo’s background, note the louvered window that is covered on the outside with a sheet of ice. The green towel, seen in the lower left corner of the photo, protects the plant from blasts of frigid air when the door opens.

The Mexipedium xerophyticum oaxaca CBR/AOS bloom is a wonderful, diminutive slipper orchid. In a few months, I’ll repot this plant and will post a video with more information about its culture.

This Cyc. JEM Black Dragon is a troubled plant. Its first inflorescence rotted, and most of its leaves turned yellow and dropped off. I thought the entire plant was a goner. But a few weeks ago, I noticed the nub of another inflorescence. Although the leaf loss subsided, the nub only produced one blossom…shown in the photo.

Catasetum ochraceum is my Star Trek orchid. It’s weird and other-worldly. The thick walls of the cup-shaped blooms never open more than the photo reveals. If you back light the bloom and peer inside the greenish cup, you’ll see a lovely brown and yellow striped interior.

Cattleya Forbador is a reliable bloomer with interesting coloring: yellow petals/sepals, often splattered in purple, with a striped and tubular purple lip.

Mark Prout sent a photo of one his December blooms, the gorgeous Lyc. Eightysixth Kiss, also included on the “Photos” page.

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Blooms a-plenty in the greenhouse this weekend.

Diminutive in size, the Acampe papillosa has a powerfully sweet scent. A recent purchase, this miniature vandaceous orchid was blooming when I bought it.

Sophrocattleya “Crystella Smith” is a vigorous little plant and a reliable bloomer – blooming several times a year.

I bought Brassia Rex for $5 on the scratch-n-dent table shortly after I joined the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City. It’s a giant plant, with one or two bloom cycles a year. At least one of those bloom cycles produces from 3 to 6 spikes.

Cyc. ‘Wine Delight’ Cyc.’‘JEM’ FCC/AOS is one of the largest cycnoches in my collection. This year and last it has produced two inflorescences, thickly covered in dark red flowers, which fill the greenhouse with their sweet scent.

Pleurothalis platystamas is a small plant with an annual explosion of inflorescenses and tiny lemon-colored flowers. It was a gift from an OSGKC friend, who is an expert pleurothallid grower.

Laelia rubescens is a delicate little catt. The early flower is the palest of lavenders, fading into white as the blossom ages.

Laeliocattleya Everett Dirksen is one of the big catts – a reliable and fragrant bloomer.

Mediacalcar decoratum is a trailing plant with tiny, trumpet-shaped blooms. It’s not an easy bloomer for me. While it generally flowers once a year, it doesn’t bloom profusely. Its succulent leaves spread like a vine, and it prefers a cooler, shadier environment than most of my orchids.

Nothing quite stops traffic like the scent of Oncidium Sharry Baby. Some people describe it as a chocolate smell; others believe it smells like a cake fresh from the oven. When grown as a specimen plant, this easily flowered plant can be quite large.

My Cattleya Chocolate Drop NOK is a division from the Missouri Botanical Gardens. I first saw this wonderful plant at the entryway to the MBG spring show. Its huge spray of blood-red petals and sepals glistened in the multi-flashes of visitors’ cameras.

Cyc. cholorochilon ‘Jumbo’ x Cycd. Jumbo Mickey is a big plant with bright yellow blooms. Even with its two inflorescenses, this cycnoches isn’t as floriferous – or as fragrant – as Cyc. Wine Delight.

Phrag. Ecua-Bess (Ecuadorence ‘Birchwood’ HCC/AOS x Besseae ‘Whippoorwill’) is a great plant. I struggle with the slipper orchids, but this one is a reliable bloomer, providing reccurring blossoms from the same inflorescense for several weeks – sometimes for several months.

Bc Maikai ‘Louise’ was a gift from an orchid friend. It was a division from her specimen plant, which I received about four months ago! Note the spots are as prominent on the back of the plant as on the front.

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