Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Encyclia tampensis in bloom

Stanhopea tigrina watch: Day seven. (Mouse over the picture) Yesterday the buds didn't grow but the got farther apart. The pictures show the changes each day for the last four days.

For today, life has caught up with me and I have places to go and people to see. I may not be here if it opens today or tomorrow. There are, however, three more spikes developing so I will have another chance and better knowledge of the process.

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Encyclia tampensis - Photo by Richard LindbergThe genus Encyclia (Encycl) contains 240 species that grow throughout all of tropical America and the West Indies. They prefer intermediate conditions and a long, dry winter rest.

Encyclia tampensis grows in Florida and the Bahamas at low altitudes and hot conditions. It is fragrant, needs moderate light and blooms in spring.

I have had this plant for quite awhile. It was one of my first Encyclia and helped generate my interest in that genus. This year it is blooming less well than usual, but that is entirely my fault. Last fall I moved it "temporarily" and never moved it back to proper light. I will correct that as soon as I fix the hanger. I have time to do that before going to Sonoma today.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hard cane Dendrobium hybrids

Dendrobium Haleahi Butterfly 'Perfecto' x Jaquelyn Thomas 'UH800' - Photo by Richard LindbergHard cane Dendrobiums are very popular because of their long-lasting flowers. They are also a great source of rescue orchids.

Lots of people get them instead of cut flowers with no real idea of what the will do with them after the flowers have faded. As a result, quite often they are either not watered at all or over watered.

If you are thinking about learning to revive orchids, one of these is a great choice. They are not at all delicate, and usually simply taking proper care of it will do the trick.

This Dendrobium was a rescue and it is in bloom now. The flowers are great with pastel green and violet. I am going to do more photo sessions until I get much closer to the colors.

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Stanhopea tigrina watch: Day six. I should have known that orchids work on their own time table, not ours. Since the flower will only be open for three to five days, I somehow was thinking that the bud would develop faster.

I wish I had this set up on a webcam. That way I could record the whole thing from my desk. But I have lots of time already in this project, so I can't stop now. I have one more day (today) that I can do this before running up against my life's other demands.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Miltassia Shelob 'Webmaster' in bloom

Miltassia Shelob 'Webmaster' - Photo by Richard LindbergMiltassia Shelob 'Webmaster' - Photo by Richard LindbergMiltassia (Mtssa) is an intergeneric cross between Brassia x Miltonia. I have had this plant quite awhile and bought it strictly because of the name 'Webmaster'.

My day job while I had one was computer programmer, which included web maintenance. I still do web design with my own company but am a lousy salesman. Need a little web maintence done? We'll talk later.

It needs repotting now. It has been on a table mount and it has been potted. It did pretty well both ways. I would like to see more flowers on the spike, though.

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My guess is that today is the day that the Stanhopea tigrina buds will open. I sure hope so, this has been as tiring as it has been great. And I am getting surprisingly little else done.

I checked this morning and the buds are farther apart than this picture taken yesterday afternoon.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sobralia xantholuca 'Broa' x leucoxantha alba 'Broa'

Sobralia xantholuca 'Broa' x leucoxantha alba 'Broa' - Photo by Richard LindbergSobralia xantholuca 'Broa' x leucoxantha alba 'Broa' - Photo by Richard LindbergSobralia (Sob) contains about 100 species that look very much like bamboo. They are terrestrial and grow in tropical areas of Mexico and South America.

Yesterday I had an amazing experience. I watched an entire blooming sequence from bud to fully open to closing.

I was in the greenhouse at 10 minute intervals taking pictures of my Stanhopea bud's progress. Each time I took a picture I looked at the Sobralia. The bud started opening at 9am, was fully open at noon and at 3pm was fading fast.

Now I know what a fully open flower looks like and when the next flower opens, I'll be ready. The flower picture that I have now was taken an hour too late and it had already started to close.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Stanhopea tigrina almost blooming

Stanhopea tigrina - Photo by Richard LindbergStanhopea tigrina - Photo by Richard LindbergThe genus Stanhopea (Stan) contains 55 species growing from Mexico, through Central America and South America.

Stanhopea tigrina grows in Mexico at about 2000 feet. It is cool to warm growing, fragrant and blooms in the summer and fall. The flowers are pendant and last only 3 to 5 days.

I have had this plant for several years but it didn't bloom until it got in the greenhouse. What was I thinking, growing a stanhopea in the house, you may wonder.

Stanhopea tigrina buds ready to pop open

I have been wanting to photograph buds as they open but there was no practical place to put the camera. It needs to be set up on the tripod and not moved all day without getting wet.

This year I have the plant hanging near the greenhouse door. I have it rotated just right for a good view. I have a place outside the greenhouse door to take the pictures. The picture above is the last photo from yesterday.

When I have the photos my plan is to convert the sequence into a flash slide show. I'll cross that bridge later, but for now, today is a day of greenhouse work punctuated by taking pictures.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Dendrobium chrysocrepis

Dendrobium chrysocrepis - Photo by Richard LindbergThe genus Dendrobium (Den) contains 1200 species from all parts of Asia and the Pacific. Dendrobium chrysocrepis grows in Myanmar and Thailand at about 4500 feet. It is cool to warm growing and blooms in the spring and summer. The flowers don't last long and it needs lower light levels.

An orchid friend knocked on my door last evening and handed it to me. It wasn't doing well for her and she wondered if I wanted it. Needless to say.......

Miltonia Mary Sugiyama 'Itoyo' HCC/AOS - Photo by Richard LindbergWe went out to the greenhouse which she hadn't seen for awhile and I picked out a nice Miltonia that will suit her better.

The quality of the free orchids available has certainly improved over the years. It used to be out of bloom Phals with no tag that someone "hates to throw away".

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Colmanara Wildcat 'Leopard'

Colmanara Wildcat 'Leopard' - Photo by Richard LindbergYesterday I talked about taking individual plant pictures and how that got started. Taking individual flower pictures came first and for a different reason. It was because of Colmanara Wildcat varieties.

I had Colmanara Wildcat 'Bobcat' and Colmanara Wildcat 'Leopard'. They were easy to grow and bloom. Then I got Colmanara Wildcat 'Ocelot' while it was out of bloom and I wanted to know what the flower looked like. There were pictures on the internet and I ended up more confused than ever.

This is true for many hybrids. Sometimes you can find a good picture, often you can't. So I started to take and collect pictures for my own reference.

I included species not because good, definitely identified pictures were not available. OrchidSpecies.com has more than 10,000 species, but it is a bit awkward to use to see the picture. And I wanted to use pictures on my website and couldn't use their pictures anyway.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Encyclia parviflora in bloom

Encyclia parviflora - Photo by Richard LindbergThe genus Encyclia (Encycl) contains 240 species that grow throughout all of tropical America and the West Indies. They prefer intermediate conditions and a long, dry winter rest.

Encyclia parviflora grows in Mexico and Nicaragua. It is fragrant, hot growing and needs bright light.

I usually have a plant photo to show you but for some reason I don't have one for this plant. I have made it a goal to have a picture of every plant in the collection.

The original motivation for this was searching for information on what a plant looks like. It is almost impossible to find a good plant picture. Even OrchidSpecies.com confines itself to a verbal description that may generate an image to a scientist but means little to me.

About three years ago I started photographing my plants when I got them or re-potted them. Now there are very few plants I don't have a picture of. Later today I will pull this plant out the greenhouse and add a photo.

UPDATE: In doing this entry, I realized that I have missed an opportunity. I have not been using the "alt" tags on the plant pictures. Google makes an effort to figure out what a picture is of from the text around it, but it is much easier if I just tell it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ascocenda Princess Mikassa in bloom

Ascocenda Princess Mikassa - Photo by Richard LindbergI don't have any vadaceous orchids that I paid money for. Well, there was one, when my wife went with me to POE. That's a story for another day.

Ascocenda Princess Mikassa is a plant that is very common in collections. I got this one as part of a group when someone I know was downsizing to a few indoor, low to moderate light plants.

As you see, it is blooming but just barely. Grown well, it will produce at least twice as many flowers. Although I try to place vandaceous orchids in high ligh areas, I have to admit I don't pay that much attention to them.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Anacheilium chimborazoense "consumes mount"

Anacheilium chimborazoense - Photo by Richard LindbergEven hard woods break down eventuallyThe genus Anacheilium (Ahl) contains 59 species growing from Mexico through northern South America. These are the cockleshell orchids. They were separated from Encyclia for technical reasons.

Anacheilium chimborazoense grows from Panama to Ecuador and Venezuela. It is cool to warm growing and is fragrant. Since it grows at the top of trees, give it bright light.

I got this 5 years ago and it has caused the mount to break down. The mount was a pretty hard wood but as the roots developed they formed a mat that held moisture next to the wood all the time. Rollover atert!

There is lots of new growth nowThe plant pulled free of the mount with very little root damage because of the rot. Now is the time to divide it with new growth all over.

I have washed and divided the plant and I now have six divisions. They will be mounted on cork in the next day or so. In the meantime, they are in a bowl with a little moist sphagnum to maintain humidity.

This is a plant that everone who loves fragrant orchids should have. The fragrance is wonderful and strong in the warm days of spring.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Building more mounts

I ran short of prebuilt mounts this week. Not all sizes, but I went through all the smaller ones and had to start making them as I went.

I like to be able to hold my plant in front of some ready-made mounts and pick one. Taking the time to break the cork and add the wire interferes with the orchid mounting energy.

I took a couple of large pieces of cork and broke them up. I went with how the broke naturally and spread them out roughly grouped by size.

Then, before the air heated up, I sat down at the work area and built a bunch of these mounts. I stuck to the smaller pieces of cork that I has run out of.

The new ones are hung on rabbit wire so that they can be individually seen. All I need to do is bring the plant that I want to mount over and test the plant against a few pieces until I find the right one.

My supply of larger mounts is in a cardboard box, stacked vertically so that I can see them also. If I need an even larger one, I can go to the cork bale and get a BIG piece.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Encyclia hanburyi in bloom

Encyclia hanburyi - Photo by Richard LindbergThe genus Encyclia (Encycl) contains 240 species that throughout all of tropical America and the West Indies. Intermediate conditions, long dry winter rest.

Encyclia hanburyi grows in Mexico and Guatemala as a terrestrial. It needs bright light, is cool to warm growing and blooms in the spring.

This plant picture is a couple of years old. I need to check the roots and see if it needs dividing. The blooming was not very strong this year, but I suspect it is because of the location. It has ended up in the north-east corner of the greenhouse. That is not bright enough for most Encyclias.

There was a time when I paid more attention to my Encyclia plants. They were the focal point of my collection for awhile but they got crowded out by newcomers. I am going to have to do something with them to improve their conditions. They are very rewarding and the flowers are long-lasting.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Schomburgkia albopurpurea backbulb opportunity

The genus Schomburgkia contains 12 species of medium to large plants growing in New World tropical areas.

Schomburgkia albopurpurea grows in the Grand Cayman Islands as a hot growing, full sun plant blooming in spring.

The Sonoma greenhouse is running pretty smoothly now. We have worked through insect control and emergency repotting. We have done optional repotting and are now starting to look at plants that are doing less well. We have found a few and have moved them to a better microclimate.

One of Lillian's plants is this Schomburgkia albopurpurea. It has really responded to the improved conditions. There is a mass of new roots and a new growth.

Mouse over the picture to view the back of the mount.

We decided that the plant needed to be re-mounted. I removed the fishing line and saw that the right side of the plant was firmly attached while the left (older part) was not. Instead of tearing up the roots, I broke the cork bark around the area where the roots were attached and fastened that to a new piece of cork bark. I put a pad of sphagnum between the pieces of cork to hold moisture.

The remounted plant will go back to Sonoma in a couple of weeks. I will keep the sorry looking backbulbs and see if they will do anything. They look pretty far gone to me, but they are not brown so it is worth a shot.