Friday, December 31, 2010

Cattleya percivaliana marmoreada

Cattleya percivaliana marmoreadaThis variety of Cattleya percivaliana is a beautiful and rare color form which features unusual tessellations throughout petals and sepals. It is known locally in Venezuela as variety Remolacha, due to the petal coloring resembling that of a cut open beet. Cattleya percivaliana marmoreada - Plant photo by Richard LindbergThe backside of both petals and sepals are of a very dark red solid beet color.

Cattleya percivaliana grows in Venezuela and Colombia in the mountains above 4000 feet near rivers. It is a large sized lithophytic plant out in the full sun. It is fragrant and blooms in the fall.

I got the plant from Steve Christoffersen last April. I left the plant in the clay pot and sphagnum that Steve grew it in. He seems to water in a way that feels like under-watering but obviously the plants like.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dendrobium lichenastrum

Dendrobium lichenastrum - Flower photo by Richard LindbergDendrobium lichenastrum seems to really like conditions in the Napa greenhouse. It has grown steadily and has been in bloom almost the whole time I have had it. The flowers are only 1/4 inches across and the pseudobulbs are about the same.

Dendrobium lichenastrum - Plant photo by Richard LindbergDendrobium lichenastrum grows in north-eastern Australia at all elevations. It is fragrant and blooms in the fall. It is very small and forms a mat.

I got the plant at the SCOS BBQ over a year ago. Last spring I reduced the plant in size by taking small divisions and mounting them on cork. Since they were so small and I wasn't sure they would grow I didn't add them to the catalog. Now that I see them doing well I will.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Orchid cactus

Orchid cactus

We had Christmas at our house this year. It went very well, a good time was had by all. As a host gift, one of the guests brought me an orchid cactus. Close enough for an orchid collector, right?

Orchid cactusThe gifter and I took a moment to look at some pictures and the photo on the right is similar to the flowers my plant will have in a couple of years. Looks very pretty, and since this is a cutting from her plant, fits in the backbulb theme.

A quick read of the care guide I found makes if seem as if it could be grown much like a Paph. Since it hangs, I am going to re-pot into a teak basket and a small bark based medium and grow it in Sonoma. I will try to keep it alive and growing for sure. I don't want to have to explain why this is not alive next year.

As for Christmas dinner, I cooked my world famous baby back ribs. A bit unconventional for Christmas but always very well received any time I make them. I have been asked for the recipe many times. When I made them this time, I took pictures and plan a web page so that this recipe can join the hundreds of other baby back recipes on the interweb.

My baby back ribs, world famous in Napa

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Cattleya dowiana aurea

I hope Christmas finds you well and your orchids bug-free.

Cattleya dowiana aurea

This year I got myself 10 Cattleya dowiana aurea seedlings. When it comes to gift giving my wife is generous and thoughtful. Her gift this year was very nice but not orchid related. She leaves me to do that for myself and it works out better all around.

This purchase is a bit of a gamble since it is from an eBay vendor I don't know who has a 99.4 score. The picture I have here is from the listing. The seller implies but doesn't actually say that it is of the mother of these clones.

He promises that they are in 3-inch pots and 4 to 5 inches tall. When I get them I'll let you know about the root system, the most important part of an orchid plant.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Blc Eagle Island 'Sangria' AM/AOS

Blc Eagle Island 'Sangria' AM/AOS

I like to keep track of what Steve Christoffersen has for sale on eBay. His collection is head and shoulders above mine in quality and rarity. He has been collecting for 30 years and has some exciting plants.

I just now looked at this weeks offerings and started to drool when I saw this Blc. With 4 days left it is up over $600. I put it on my watch list so that I can see the final price. I know I won't be bidding on it. I plan to try to see the plant before it is shipped.

UPDATE: I now have seen the plant and the flower and took some pictures. The picture above is closer to the actual rich, dark color.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cattleya percivaliana v semi-alba 'Soho' x self

Cattleya percivaliana v semi-alba 'Soho' x self - Flower photo by Richard LindbergI have only had this variety of Cattleya percivaliana a month or so. I got it from Ian's Orchids on eBay. I have a few plants from him and have had a good experience on each purchase.

Cattleya percivaliana grows in Venezuela and Colombia in the mountains above 4000 feet near rivers. Cattleya percivaliana v semi-alba 'Soho' x self - Plant photo by Richard LindbergIt is a large sized lithophytic plant out in the full sun. It is fragrant and blooms in the fall.

This is the fourth variety of Cattleya percivaliana in the collection and that is probably enough until I get more experience with this species. Also, I tend to get carried away and I don't want to end up with this species as I did with Laelia anceps.

I re-potted from large bark to rock after I saw the new growth. I will position the light on the 'windward' side of the plant to get it to straighten up.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dtps (Formosa Rose x Modern Rose) x Ching Ann Davis

Dtps (Formosa Rose x Modern Rose) x Ching Ann Davis

Dtps is short for Doritaenopsis, the cross between Doritis (lots of small flowers and branching spike) and Phaleanopsis (larger, fewer flowers). The result is a very nice compromise.

Phaleanopsis and Doritis hybrids make up a large part of the free orchids that come my way. They are very popular for good reason. The flowers are pretty and long lasting. Big Box sells them by the thousands. A large portion of these have no tags.

Keiki growing on an old spikeNew flower branch growing on an old spikeFrom a collector point of view an orchid without a tag is less desirable. It is not a care issue, the conditions these hybrids like are very similar. This one has a tag.

Aside from the tag this plant is interesting. There are two spikes each with an example of what an old spike can do; a keili on one and a new flower branch on the other.

The mother plant is weak but not the worst I have seen. All the roots in the pot were dead but there were some aerial roots. It should continue to grow roots and recover.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dendrobium Javiera

A Dendrobium sprouting on nodes

When I was new to orchid growing Ortho's All About Orchids was a great help. One of the things the book described was hard cane Dendrobium sprouting from un-bloomed nodes. I tried it once and nothing happened so I never tried it again.

Now it has happened accidentally in Sonoma. I had divided a Dendrobium and got a large piece and a small piece. This is the small piece but I didn't consider it a backbulb division since there were live roots. At one point it started a new sprout from the base which has turned black, probably from getting water inside it.

The other part of the plant is doing very well and has a spike so I will get to take a flower picture. I can't find any listing for the name on the tag in the RHS listings. I think that it has this name because it once belonged to Javiera who gave it away instead of throwing it out.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rhyncholaelia digbyana

Rhyncholaelia digbyana - Flower photo by Richard LindbergI have had Rhyncholaelia digbyana on my wish list for a long time. Not in the top 10 but on the list. I have never had one until this year. Now I have three, but two of them are seedlings. Seedlings are interesting but waiting for the first bloom can be frustrating.

Rhyncholaelia digbyana - Plant photo by Richard LindbergRhyncholaelia digbyana grows from southern Mexico to Costa Rica. It is cool to warm growing, fragrant, needs bright light and blooms in summer. It is used in many hybrids. It is often called Brassavola digbyana. The genus Rhyncholaelia (Rhynch) contains 2 species that were formerly included in Brassavola. They grow in Central America and are fragrant tropical epiphytes needing bright light.

I was delighted to receive both of the Rhyncholaelia species in a trade. Having a mature digbyana plant made it twice as exciting.

I often repot plants as I get them but decided to leave this plant alone. It is in a clay pot in lava rock and there is room for the new growth to mature. I will take it to Sonoma and wait for the next growth cycle to start before re-potting.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Renanthera Manila 'T. Orchids' x imshootiana 'Saigon'

I mentioned before the cooling problem this last summer. The air conditioners that keep the temperature from getting much over 90 failed to come on for perhaps 4 weeks during the hottest time of the year. I lost several vandaceous plants. One of them was this Renanthera hybrid, an unmamed cross (Renanthera philippinensis x Renanthera Brookie Chandler) x Renanthera imschootiana.

I got this plant in trade. It has lots of red long-lasting flowers and, although I am the first to tell you I don't understand Renanthera, I thought it was worth a try.

The plant on the right is what I got. When I thought it had died I brought it back to Napa and set it down on the floor in the corner, intending to throw it out.

Cleanup and inspection has been going on all this month. I picked up the basket and was shocked to see sprouts. In fact three sprouts, each with its own roots.

If I am very lucky I will have three plants next summer. I wish I had a flower picture, but it has not bloomed in the two years I have had it. I have put it back in the same spot, hoping the magic continues.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Orchid Society Party last night

NOID Phaleanopsis - Holiday party gift exchange

The Sonoma County Orchid Society had its holiday party last night. It was at a new restaurant this year and the food and the atmosphere was very nice. There was a gift exchange and door prizes. We had a very good time.

Among the numerous benefits of orchid society membership are the social events. Our orchid society has 5. There is the potting party in the spring, a bus trip and a BBQ in summer, the holiday party in the fall and the show and sale in spring. There are always 2 or 3 open greenhouses each summer.

I think orchid society membership made me a better orchidist by exposing me to new plants and new culture ideas. I have just about an hour to drive to my meeting and I have heard about people driving farther than that. It is very much worth the effort.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bulbophyllum laxiflorum

Bulbophyllum laxiflorum - Flower photo by Richard LindbergBulbophyllum laxiflorum is just about the only thing blooming in either of the greenhouses. Four of the Dendrobium hybrids are puttin a good show in Sonoma but Napa is bare except for this one tiny flower.

Bulbophyllum laxiflorum - Plant photo by Richard LindbergBulbophyllum laxiflorum grows throughout Southeast Asia. It is warm to hot growing, very tropical. The flowers are fragrant and can occur any time of the year. A group of flowers radiate from the end of the spike forming a starburst effect.

I have more to learn about Bulbophyllum. I can grow them well enough but not real successful at blooming them. Some do and some never have. Light level is the answer no doubt.

Light management is a constant challenge in a greenhouse like mine where a large portion of the plants are hanging up high and shading other plants.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Laelia albida

Laelia albida - Flower photo by Richard LindbergLaelia albida grows in Mexico and needs a dry winter rest. It is cold to warm growing, fragrant and blooms in fall and winter. The genus Laelia (L) has a few species in Mexico and parts of Central America. Most of the rest of the species that used to be called Laelia have been reclassified as Cattleya.

Laelia albida - Plant photo by Richard LindbergI got this Laelia albida at the SCOS BBQ and auction in September and have splashed a little water on it from time to time. It was loose in the pot and I could see that it was rootless. But now it is showing signs of activating an eye so it is time to do something with it.

This plant tried to make a recovery in its last growth cycle. I can see root stubs where they were eaten by something. I think this happened after it had partly grown. Now it is back to being a backbulb division.

My plan is to remove the oldest three pseudobulbs and pot them in rock. They have used a lot of their energy already but there is a chance the will sprout.

The other half with the activating eye will be mounted. When it grows roots I want them right next to the cork bark so that the plant will attach right away.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Coelogyne usitana

Coelogyne usitanaI have had my Coelogyne usitana three years. It was in bloom when I got it and it was still in bloom when it set another spike a year later. A properly cared-for spike will bloom sequentially indefinitely.

Coelogyne usitana - Plant photo by Richard LindbergCoelogyne usitana grows only on Mindanao. It is warm to hot growing. It will set a spike in spring or summer in new growth. The genus Coelogyne (Coel) contains 100 species found in all of Asia east of India and Indonesia and Fiji. Conditions vary considerably.

Last year the spikes dried up and there was no new spike started. I am happy to see that it has a new spike with an open flower and a bud. Conditions this year are a little different than last year and the year before that, gradually moving warmer and dryer in winter. I have been trying to keep some plants wet by hand watering and this is one of those.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Orchidteer, a new orchid blog

Cattleya mendelii - Flower picture by Richard LindbergA new orchid blog has just started, The Orchidteer. There are four entries so I can read it from the very start. As a hobbyist, I like to hear about how others are growing their orchids and see pictures of their plants and flowers.

Eric says in the first entry:

My intention at this point is really just to share pictures of my blooming plants and the goings on around my growing area. I am a member of the local orchid society, but other than that I know few people that get excited to see plants. My wife thinks I am crazy too spends the time and money I do on the plants, but she is a great sport about it, and enjoys the flowers of most of my plants.

Click over to The Orchidteer and add you name to mine in the "FOLLOW" list. Eric will appreciate the orchid love, I'm sure, and reward us with more post about his orchids.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Free Orchid

I was doing some cleanup and inspection yesterday. Among the things I found was this plant. It looks good, is firmly established on the mount and has a new growth. What it doesn't have is a tag.

I can probably identify it when it blooms. The list of possibilities is not that long. But I have a space problem and I would rather send it to a new home than keep a tag-less orchid.

This is a Cirrhopetalum or Bulbophyllum. It is mounted on a 4x5-inch piece of cork bark. There are two mature pseudobulbs and a new growth. I have it in a little less that Cattleya light.

If you have not had a free orchid before and you can give this plant a good home leave a comment and then EMail me with your shipping address. The plant is free but postage is $5.50. Offer is good until noon Pacific time Monday 12/6/2010.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dendrobium hybrids

My collection contains species plants from the Americas. The Sonoma collection is Cattleya hybrids. Those are the goals of the collections but not the reality. Other orchids find their way into the greenhouse.

Dendrobium Emma White - Flower photo by Richard LindbergA group of orchids that earn their place in the greenhouse is Dendrobium hybrids. They are very well suited to a greenhouse environment and produce many long-lasting flowers. I have all of these in limestone pieces where the water drains right through and the only thing that captures water is the plant roots.