Saturday, February 28, 2009

I have added more pictures

In fact I have added a whole page of pictures. These are pictures that were on my non-orchid website but they belong here so I have moved them. This process has taken a couple of weeks because the page is quite different. But now when I take new pictures they will be added to the page pretty quickly.

Maxillaria sophronitis - Photo by Richard Lindberg

Friday, February 27, 2009

Orchids: An emotional roller coaster

Angraecum sesquipedale 'Orchidglade II' FCC/AOS - Photo by Richard Lindberg

The genus Angraecum contains 200 species grow in tropical Africa to Madagascar. They like a wood slat basket, high humidity, moderate shade, and ample water while in growing.

Angraecum sesquipedale grows in Madagascar. It is hot growing and needs consistent warm temperatures and even watering. It has large, fragrant flowers.

I have mentioned this plant before as one that I had given up on blooming. I bought it in bloom exactly three years ago and little has happened since. What a wonderful surprise to see the flowers yesterday.

The first year the light was too bright for it, the leaves got stiff and some were lost. There were buds but they blasted right away.

The The second year I moved it where it is now, high up for maximum heat. I added some shade cloth right over it. Again there were buds, but they blasted.

This year the position stayed the same but there were more plants hanging around it. And there are two spikes, four buds. One bud blasted, one is still unopen and two flowers are blooming now.

It looks as if I missed the best chance to photograph the flower but I did it anyway. I will watch the last bud and see if I can get a better picture.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blooming today

Maxillaria grayi - Photo by Richard Lindberg

The genus Maxillaria contains contains 650 some species spread throughout the tropical and sub-tropical Americas. They have a single flower. Generally warm to hot growing.

Maxillaria grayi grows in Ecuador, warm to hot growing, low light. I have tried various locations and Phal light seems best.

This is my one and only picture in I got the plant from Andy's Orchids and so was quite certain of the identification. I was pleased to be able to submit a flower picture.

Jay Phahl accepted the picture but added the qualification "I am not sure of this determination, comparing to Dodson's drawing the lateral petals should be ascending and the lower sepals apices are almost at a right angle to the base."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More about the blooming Coelogyne

Coelogyne flaccida grows grows from northern India through south China in mountain forests in the 3000 to 6000 foot range. It is cold to cool growing and is fragrant.

I couldn't wait so I went through the 120 species of Coelogyne listed on one at a time. They have quite a good flower picture for most of the species and I had their picture and my picture on side-by-side tabs in my Firefox browser.

Even though the tag is wrong I am pretty confident that the plant is a species. The person selling it has primarily species plants. The only thing left to do is make the new tags and locate the plants in the jungle I call a greenhouse.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blooming now - and I am really bummed out

Coelogyne mayeriana grows in Malaysia, Sumatra, Java and Borneo. Hot growng, fragrant, tropical. I was really looking forward to this plant blooming.

If you know Coelogyne mayeriana or clicked on the link you can see that this is definitely *NOT* Coelogyne mayeriana. But the tag says it is.

Last August I got a large plant and took it apart after finding minimal roots when I repotted. I ended up with three plants and three backbulbs. I was excited to get a new Coelogyne species.

The good news is that I don't have this species(?). It looks very familiar and I will very likely see one at POE. Identifying it will not mean that I click through the many Coelogyne pictures online.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Remounting a plant

Bulbophyllum leopardinum grows from India to Thailand at high altitudes. It likes shady conditions. I have been bumping up the light but my plants still haven't bloomed in three years.

This plant isn't mine, it is from the collection in the greenhouse where I do maintenance every Tuesday. I brought it home to re-mount and the week is almost gone. This is today's project.

The problem is that the new growth is pointed away from the mount and that there is too much sphagnum. At the same time I am going to replace the hook.

Here is the finished product. When I removed the plant, none of the roots had made it through the sphagnum to attach to the bark. I put a very thin pad back and changed the way the plant sits.

With rhizomes as long as this plant has I could have put it on a larger piece of cork. There is room for only one more year.

I hope I can get one of these to bloom. They look like great flowers. According to, which is my main source of orchid information, this species blooms any time from spring through fall.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

More about tags

Here is my high-tech numbering system for my orchids. It is a plastic pot with all the unused numbers on green tags.

When a plant is sold, traded or dies the white tags goes with the plant and the green tag goes back in the box. Before I do that I update the computer so that the next time the website is updated the inventory will be correct.

The back of the white tag also has the inventory number and re-potting dates. When I get a new plant I take any green tag out and that becomes the plant ID in my greenhouse.

This system evolved because I found that a strictly online system got out of date easily. Now I can work with the plants and use the green tags to get the computer back in sync.

Friday, February 20, 2009

In bloom today

Laeliocattleya Betty von Paulsen 'Drops of Orange' - Photo by Richard Lindberg

I am really not a "flat flower" nazi but the flowers of Laeliocattleya Betty von Paulsen 'Drops of Orange' are too cupped to be attractive to me.

This was a free plant and this is the first time it has bloomed for me. I enjoy the opportunity to get a new orchid photo and I like the colors a lot.

I am going to clean it up, repot it and give it to a friend who likes Catt hybrids.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Orchid nametags

I will admit it -- I like to know what I have in my collection. I will give away or toss out plants that don't have proper tags.

This is a rescue plant and I have no idea if it is worth the space or not. I have tried to search on the words that I can make out individually and in groups.

It looks as if it was healty and only recently lost its roots. The piece shown is about a quarter of the plant and all the pseudobulbs look good.

The plant appears to be a minicat of some kind. With that in mind I started going through the 'L' section of the Intergeneric Orchid Hybrid Abbreviations. The only one that could be a minicat is 'Lowara', which is Brassavola x Laelia x Sophronitis.

The word 'Trinket' seems clear. I Googled 'Lowara Trinket' and got a hit so I am going to go with that for the moment. I am stumped as to what either of the words on the second line could be.

I don't know for sure what happened with this label but my guess is that the owner lost the original tag and called someone. He wrote down what he thought he heard.

UPDATE: From Carol at Gardenweb comes the comment, "Richard, I looked on your blog, and it appears that the second name could be Bc. Gaudi-Digbyana, an old cross that is 50% C. bowringiana (info. from Orchidwiz)." That seems reasonable and no more of a stretch than is 'Lowara'. Thanks, Carol.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In bloom today

Anancheilium chimborazoense - Photo by Richard Lindberg

Anancheilium chimborazoense grows in the Caribbean, Central America, and northern South America. It is a medium sized epiphyte, growing cool to warm. It is very fragrant.

I bought the plant at POE from Andy's Orchids five years ago. I had a bit of trouble finding the right place for it and for the first two years it barely grew at all.

It turned out that I had it in too bright light. Reference material has it listed as needing quite bright light, but the place I have had it is much less light.

This is one of the most fragrant orchids I have. You can smell it as soon as you walk into the greenhouse.

Monday, February 16, 2009

New growth spotted

Cirrhopetalum flabellovernis grows from India all the way to Indonesia. It is warm to hot growing.

I got the plant for a couple of dollars at the "Going out of business" sale for Petite Plaisance as a very large plant that had outgrown the mount. I removed most of the plant and left the remaining mount intact.

Now there are two leads developing, one on the back (you can see the leaf upper right) and one lower left. I am going to leave it as is for at least another year.

There is a trend of small growers going out of business. By small growers I mean those who grow most of the orchids they sell, not resellers. Increased heating costs and lower retail prices are the underlying cause. It is sad to see.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Flower opening this week

Oncidium varicosum - Photo by Richard Lindberg

Oncidium varicosum grows in Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. It is cool to hot growing and blooms in summer and fall with many yellow flowers on spikes up to 5 feet long.

The spike on mine is more in the 2-3 foot range but I am perfectly happy with that. There are quite a few buds and only three of the flowers have opened so there may be a bit more growth.

I have had the plant for under a year and I was guessing to a certain extent about the right microclimate for it. This will definitely be going on show and tell tables in March.

The plant was re-potted when I got it, less than a year ago. I knew the pot was not large enough for two years growth, but the roots were skimpy. I will repot again later this year. I see that the new pseudobulb is larger than the previous pseudobulb and that is a sign that the plant is happy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Popular hybrids are good as practice rescues

Phal Brother Lawrence 'Taisuco' x Phal Taisuco Glory - Photo by Richard LindbergDebra Atwood of Napa Valley Orchids was talking about selecting orchids for a collection the other night at the Sonoma County Orchid Society meeting. She said that success comes from getting mature, previously bloomed plants. Not to let our friends give us orchids that they were too soft-hearted to throw in the trash.

I agree with Debra 85%. I think that everybody should follow her sound advice but should also have one rescue going. It is an important money-saving skill. And if you are like me, you will create your own rescue orchids often enough.

Dendrobium Emma White - Photo by Richard LindbergBut if you enjoy the plants as much as the flowers, then rescues are a good source of orchids. Hard cane Dendrobium hybrids and Phal hybrids are very rewarding to bring back to good health. And when they do bloom, they can continue blooming for weeks, even months.

I have a group of ten Dendrobiums that came to me in a sorry state. They are sitting high up where the light approaches 4000 foot candles and the automatic watering doesn't reach. They love it and are growing very tall. Four of them are in bloom right now, including two Emma Whites.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Raffle win of a new species

Epidendrum coriifolium - Photo by Richard Lindberg

The second Tuesday of the month the Sonoma County Orchid Society has its meeting. As a member I go to most of them.

The speaker this month was Debra Atwood of Napa Valley Orchids speaking about selecting an orchid. It may seem as if it would be difficult to make a whole talk out of that, but there is much to consider to have the best chance to be successful, especially for the indoor grower.

Debra also provided the raffle plants. There was a nice selection of plants including several species plants. All of the plants would be a nice addition to any collection.

I got one of the orchids, a beautiful green form of Epidendrum coriifolium. It grows from Mexico through Central America to northern South America in low altitude and wet mountain forests. It is warm to hot growing, fragrant and needs bright light.

I have now repotted the plant in pea gravel and a larger pot. I was happy to find a pretty good root system.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Collectable backbulb comes my way

Lc Molly Tyler FCC/AOSGuarisophleya Molly Tyler FCC/AOS (awarded 1937)
Seed Parent
Sophranthe Mrs. W. N. Elkins

Pollen Parent
Cattleya Leda

Registrant - Dixon 1930

Sophranthe Mrs. W. N. Elkins
Seed Parent
Guarianthe bowringiana

Pollen Parent
Sophronitis purpurata

Registrant - Dixon 1922

Cattleya Leda
Seed Parent
Cattleya dowiana

Pollen Parent
Cattleya percivaliana

Registrant - Maron 1900
is a very beautiful orchid.
It has a lovely purple flower with a red lip. Here is a picture of Lc Molly Tyler FCC/AOS.

Lc Molly Tyler is an old cross between a Laelia and three Cattleyas registered in 1930. (Two of these have been re-classified; the new names are used on the right). This is not a rare orchid by any means. While other of the early crosses have largely disappeared, Molly Tyler remains popular.

This week I was helping a friend repot and Molly Tyler was one of hers. It had eight pseudobulbs and has been a reliable bloomer, but had grown right up to the edge of the pot. I took it out, opened up the roots and removed the oldest two pseudobulbs. I put it back in the same pot with the lead toward the center. I got to keep the backbulbs.

There are no live roots but considering their age are in good enough shape. And, as I said, the plant as a whole was growing well. These should sprout soon. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In bloom today

The genus Restrepia contains 30 or 40 found from Mexico to Northern Argentina. Their culture is similar to small Pleurothallis species and grow well with small pots, high humidity and shady conditions.

Restrepia sanguinea grows in Ecuador and Venezuela. It is cold to cool growing.

Sometimes I see an orchid characterized as "grows like a weed". In my environment, this is usually one of those. But this year I didn't get the winter watering right and many of my Pleuros and Masds suffered for it.

I have increased the general watering frequency and am paying more attention to the hand watering. It will still be awhile before the greenhouse goes into the summer fully automatic mode.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I want one!!

I don't keep a wish list of orchids. I let karma bring orchids to my attention. And with my space limitation I don't look seriously at the large Cattleya species.

But this Cattleya percivaliana 'Summit' FCC/AOS stopped me in my tracks tuesday night in San Francisco.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Our Show and Sale is off to a good start

The first day of the Sonoma County Orchid Society show and sale went very well. There was lots to see and all our regional vendors were there selling.

There was some celebrity spotting with Frank Fordyce and his wife Madge making the rounds, talking to all their friends. Since they know everybody, that in itself was an all-day activity.

At the end of the day there was a dinner for the vendors and volunteers. Wine from the Raymond Burr winery and a variety of pasta were served. It was a great time but it didn't run too late. All the vendors needed to rest up and get ready to restock the table for Sunday.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Double challenge

This plant is Bc Cynthia 'Pink Lady' HCC/AOS from Gold Country Orchids. It is described as having 5” delicate pink flowers on a compact plant that blooms twice a year and is very fragrant. I found a picture of it and it looks very nice.

Five months ago I started doing weekly maintenance in a nearby greenhouse in return for some space. One of the challenges was an infestation of Boisduval scale. This plant had the scale in addition to having very little root.

It has now been two months since it was cleaned and put in the hospital. One of the older roots has re-tipped, there is a new root emerging and an eye is activating. It is too soon for celebration, but it all looks very promising.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sonoma Show and Sale

The orchid show season is under way with my home group, The Sonoma County Orchid Society having theirs this coming weekend.

This is a medium sized show. While it is not the major event that is POE a month from now, it is better in some ways. Like in "The three bears", this show and sale is not too big and not too small. It is just right!

The most obvious one is parking. It is free and close to the event.

Then there is the main event, the orchids. SCOS has many fine orchid growers as members. The display is always great. And there will be some of the same vendors as will be selling at POE.

I'll see you there.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Brassia keikis??

Brassia Rex is one of those plants that seems to find its way into a lot of collections. It is one that gets offered to me from time to time.

The plant was badly root-bound and what medium was left had disintegrated. In cases such as these, my practice is to work the roots apart if possible rather than up potting.

When I was done I had two plants (at least two pseudobulbs, leaves, some roots and active eyes) and three backbulb groups (one or two rootless and leafless pseudobulbs). This is one of the backbulb groups, in this case two connected pseudobulbs.

The backbulbs went into a clay pot that had a pad of sphagnum on the bottom. I used limestone pieces to support the backbulbs and to confine the humidity inside the pot. The whole pot then went on a humidity tray that is kept brimming full of water.

After six months I was not surprised that the plant sprouted. What surprised me were the keikis. I have seen keikis on Brassia before but don't really associate keikis with that genus.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Spring cleaning

Masdevallia pachyura - Photo by Richard Lindberg

Masdevallia pachyura grows in Ecuador and Peru in wet mountain forests above 3000 feet. It occurs as both epiphyte and terrestrial. It seems to bloom almost any time and is in bloom now.

I just checked the weather report and an agency of the federal government informs me that it is 46 degrees now and will get up to 70 today. That's the sort of day I have been looking for to remove the last excuse for not cleaning up my potting area. I am hoping for the air to be nice by noon.

I need to clean because all the surfaces are covered and potting is difficult and impossible to do without feeling guilty. So today I will stick my head out the door at noon, and if I see my shadow, go outside and clean.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Slow recovery

Oncidium ampliatum grows in Central America and northern South America in hot lowland areas. It blooms from the fall into spring.

When I got this plant more than three years ago, the seller told me that it hated having its roots disturbed. I repotted it and sure enough, the plant was set back. It looked for a time as if it might die.

It is making a comeback now and it is a very interesting plant. I have never seen pseudobulbs like these, which look like rocks. It is actively growing and has enough pseudobulbs to bloom. It might still bloom this year.