Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sobralia night fever

The other night Bruce Rogers visited the SCOS meeting and gave us a high-energy talk about the joys of Sobralias. The genus has about a hundred species that look very much like bamboo. They are terrestrial and grow in tropical areas of Mexico and South America.

This is my Sobralia elegans. I know practically nothing about it except that it is small and hot growing. I have it in pea gravel and ignored the advice not to disturb the roots. I have had it maybe four years and look for buds once in awhile. I think I saw some but never saw the flowers, which might have come and gone while I was having lunch.

I got another at the raffle. The tag was broken off so I am not sure exactly what it is. It is 33 inches tall and had a fading, beautiful yellow flower. I emailed Bruce for additional information. He talked about it, but I don't listen at the speed he talks, so I need a repeat.

Of course I am ignoring the advice not to disturb the rootball. When I snipped the pot to get the tag, it snapped open. The roots are very tightly packed and I will open them up and just deal with a year of sobralia sulking if I have to.

UPDATE: After another look at how tight the rootball is, I chickened out. Instead I up-potted it about two inches and filled with pea gravel. Next spring I expect that the inside will have rotted out and the whole thing will be easier to deal with.

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