Monday, September 20, 2010

Myrmecophila tibicinis 'H&R' x 'Jean'

My Myrmecophila tibicinis backbulb division is sprouting

I got a nice backbulb division of Myrmecophila tibicinis in July of last year as part of a trade. I potted it in a large wood basket with large cork chunks as medium. Myrmecophila tibicinis 'H&R' x 'Jean' - Plant photo by Richard LindbergThis picture was taken soon after I got it. Not a whole lot has changed since then until this month.

The genus Myrmecophila contains 8 species that are a subset of Schomburgkia and were separated because of the hollow pseudobulbs. They are found in tropical areas of the new world.

Myrmecophila tibicinis grows from Mexico through northern South America. It is warm to hot growing, wants full sun and is fragrant. The plant is big and the spike can be as much as 15 feet long. Luckily, I have room for a plant that size in Sonoma.

Myrmecophila tibicinis 'H&R' x 'Jean' - Plant photo by Richard LindbergThe division had an eye that looked as if it might start growing right away. There was a start made, with some new root growth, but nothing really happened. I was not discouraged, backbulbs often take a long time to to decide to start.

The plan is to winter the plant in Napa. The greenhouse is 15 degrees warmer and I can hand water it. If a spike develops it will be in January and I can move it back to Sonoma when space becomes a problem.

I am kind of excited by the possibility of a 15-foot spike. It would be nice if the flowers were long-lasting, but the Schomburgkia Paul Storm in the collection doesn't last very long. And I would have to rent a U-Haul to take it to the orchid society meeting.

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