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Posts Tagged ‘Psychopsis’

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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Two orchids are posted to the Photos page: Rlc. Iroquois Trail ‘Midfarm’ FCC/AOS and Phal. tetraspis. The velvety Rhyncholaeliocattleya flower, with its 6.5 inch wingspan, is a deeper red than the photo reveals.  The phalaenopsis photo shows the plant’s first bloom of the season – always a white background with quirky red markings.  

About pruning…Years ago someone told me never to remove the inflorescence on my Psychopsis Mendenhall. It’s good advice…even when you accidentally snap off a perfectly good flower. That happened to me about four months ago when I picked up the tall plant and its flower tangled in overhanging wires. I was tempted to remove the inflorescence – figuring that such a pruning would force a new inflorescence. I’m glad I didn’t because 10 days ago I noticed a new shoot sprouting along the truncated inflorescence about two inches below the severed flower. I don’t know if a new bud will develop…but I’ll keep you posted.

More about pruning…Many growers peel away the sheaths covering healthy, swelling cattleya buds. I did that, too, until I noticed that a strong sheath, which opens naturally at the tip to allow the flower’s unfurling, can provide needed support for a slender stem holding up a giant flower like Rlc. Iroquois Trail.

 And more…Think twice about cutting off a phal’s inflorescence, especially on species phals. My Phal. tetraspis, for example, remains dormant through the summer and then blooms on its old inflorescences during the winter. My tetraspis has five inflorescences (new ones are produced each autumn). You’ll know when to prune because the inflorescence will die and turn yellow/brown.

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Of my 32 Top Favorite orchids, these 11 earn four out five points (See the Nov. 3 post for the ranking criteria). (Again note the ones with an asterisk *. In a few days, I’ll do a special post about these.): 

  • Brassia Rex (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant)
  • Cirropetalum Elizabeth Ann ‘Jean’* (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant)
  • Cycnoches Jean E. Monnier* (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant)
  • Maxillaria tenuifolia* (reliable and profuse bloomer, fabulous scent, and durable plant)
  • Makara Salaya Red (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant)
  • Mexipedium xerophyticum ‘Oaxaca’ CBR/AOS* (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant) [This knockout blossom is diminutive.]
  • Onc. Sharry Baby* (reliable and profuse bloomer, fabulous scent, and durable plant)
  • Paphinia Majestic (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant)
  • Psychopsis Mendenhall* (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant)

    3 blooms on Psychopsis Mendenhall

  • Slc. George Hausermann ‘Carl’* (reliable bloomer, knockout bloom, mildly scented and durable plant)
  • Vanda sensei blue* (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant)

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