Friday, November 21, 2008

Hanging flowers

Stanhopea embreei grows in western Ecuador in shaded cloud orests. It is cold to warm growing, fragrant, and blooms in spring and early summer.

The genus Stanhopea contains 55 species growing from Mexico, through Central America and South America. These are rarely seen at show and tell because the flowers are short-lived.

I have five different Stanhopea species. I didn't spend any significant money on any of them. I have fun with them, trying different things.

The Stanhopea embreei was a seedling from a raffle table. After I cleaned it I saw that it was pretty two-dimensional, that the pseudobulbs were in a line. Although I have never seen a Stanhopea mounted on cork, I went for it and it turned out really well, blooming the first year.

The Stanhopea jenischiana was another seedling. In this case I took this Cymbidium pot and inverted a small clay pot on top. I spread the roots over a pad of sphagnum moss. Then I started to wrap fishing line around, adding sphagnum as I went. As the plant develops I am hoping that the spikes will extend below the lip of the Cymbidium pot.

The Stanhopea tigrina is my "Stanhope-on-a-rope". I got it as a mature plant in a 6-inch basket. After a year, the basket was filled with roots. I raised it up by added sphagnum on the bottom. In another year the plant was growing through the gaps in the basket.

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