Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rhyncattleanthe Zul

Rhyncattleanthe Zul - Flower photo by Richard LindbergRhyncattleanthe Zul - Plant photo by Richard LindbergI have had this plant just under a year. It was at the end of the last blooming cycle so I got a glimpse of the flower. Now that it is blooming again I have a chance to take a flower picture. I really like the color combination.

Rhyncattleanthe Zul ready to be re-potted at the next growth cycleCattleya skinneri x Rhyncattleanthe Orange Nugget, registered by Z.Ibrahim in 1997.

The angle of the new growth is the result of a flaw in the Sonoma greenhouse. The major light source in winter is the south wall, not the ceiling. I have been trying to remember to use stakes for new growth.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Laelia autumnalis var atrorubens

Laelia autumnalis var atrorubens - Flower photo by Richard LindbergIn July 2009 I decided to divide all my Laelia anceps plants because they were getting large. I included my Laelia autumnalis (shown below as it was then) in that effort. It had not really outgrown the mount but once I got going, none of the Mexican laelia plants was safe.

Laelia autumnalis grows in southern Mexico. It is cold to warm growing, blooming in the fall.

Laelia autumnalis plant before it was dividedThe oldest backbulb division went into tight-packed sphagnum along with all the anceps divisions. Quite a few of them sprouted but many did not, this division included. In retrospect, I can see that it was really too late in the growth cycle to be doing this dividing. I should have been doing it 3 months earlier or waited until the next year.

In 2010 this division made a feeble effort and grew a small recovery pseudobulb. When I took the plant out of the sphagnum I was interested to see an active eye (small redish triangle) on the other pseudobulb. There is a potential sprout in even the very oldest of pseudobulbs.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Howeara Lava Burst 'Puanani' AM/AOS

I had not planned to buy any plants at the show and sale last week. The available plants were nice enough but I was there mostly to see what was going on.

Every once in awhile a plant calls my name and this was one of those. This plant is mounted on a 6-inch branch with growing live roots trailing 20 inches down. There are three pseudobulbs with two spikes on the newest growth. I think it was the roots. They are some of the most beautiful roots I have seen.

Howeara is an intergereric with which I was unfamiliar. I found out that it is a cross between Leochilus x Oncidium x Rodriguezia.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Napa Valley Orchid Society Show and Sale

The NVOS members' display table

The Napa Valley Orchid Society Show and Sale was this last week-end. It was a small event with three vendors. I am not a member and had not been to this event for a few years.

Being a member of a local orchid society can give a jump-start to orchid knowledge. And seeing what others in the area are having success with can help with selecting orchids that grow in you climate.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Maxillaria picta

Maxillaria picta - Flower photo by Richard LindbergI have several Maxillaria picta plants as the result of dividing a large plant I got before last year's growing season. This is the largest piece, all the others were one or two backbulb divisions. It is growing, doing just OK. The greenhouse is too warm for it, but at least it is blooming.

Maxillaria picta - Plant photo by Richard LindbergMaxillaria picta grows in Brazil and Argentina. It is a high light cool to warm growing plant, blooming in winter and spring. The genus Maxillaria (Max) contains 650 some species spread throughout the tropical and sub-tropical Americas. They have a single flower. Generally warm to hot growing.

The nice thing about this species is that they bloom just as they are starting the new growth period. I have a chance right now to decide if I want to keep the plant. If I am going to sell it later this year, I can re-pot it in bark now so that it will be established in 2 or 3 months.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Brassia Rex

Brassia Rex - Flower photo by Richard LindbergMy two Brassia Rex plants are blooming. I have had them quite some time and have made multiple divisions. This particular plant has been growing steadily in this same pot since 2007. It is in the brightest location on the greenhouse.

Brassia Rex - Plant photo by Richard LindbergIt has grown to the edge of the pot and has only the one lead. If there were a second lead, I might be tempted to up-pot it and let it get larger. With the single lead, I am going to back-cut and separate the two pieces at the next growth cycle.

This plant is potted in rock in a 5-inch plastic pot. There are 6 pseudobulbs and stands 11 inches above the pot.

Brassia Rex is the cross Brassia verrucosa x Brassia gireoudiana, registered in 1964. Brassia (Brs) contains 29 species spread throughout tropical America. They are very prone to pleating if not watered enough during growth spurts.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Orchid Box Contents - Part 2

Pleurothallis palliolata grows in Costa Rica and Panama at altitudes of 3500 to 6500 feet. It is cool to warm growing and needs low light and can bloom just about any time of the year. It both blooms and grows keikis at the base of the leaf.

I have had a lot of success with this species in the past but it doesn't grow well any more as the base temperature in the greenhouse has been rising over the last couple of years.

Ceratostylis retisquama grows in the Philippines at lower elevations up to 1500 feet. It is warm to hot growing, needs bright light and can bloom any time of year.

This species can be grown in a wood slat basket or mounted on cork bark. I am going to use a basket for this because I have more bright light options and I don't know which direction the new growth will go.

Laelia pumila grows in Brazil at elevations from 1500 to 4000 feet in swampy forests. It is fragrant, needs a dry winter rest and blooms in fall. What I got was the Coerulea form, a cross of My Blue Heaven x Sanbar Ind so it should be very pretty.

I have had this species before and killed it by not cutting back on the water in the fall. All the roots died and it never recovered. This time I am going to mount it on cork and place it where it will be misted through the summer. That should make it easier to control the watering than potted as I had them before.

Sophronitella violacea grows in eastern Brazil in shady and humid mountain forests. It is cool to hot growing and blooms in spring.

This is a very small plant on a small piece of treefern. There are two pseudobulbs that have a leaf and four more that I think are live backbulbs. I am going attach the treefern to cork bark to try to avoid disturbing the roots.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Orchid Box Contents - Part 1

Today I am going to get the box of orhids potted or mounted and cataloged. They have now been properly identified and a plan made for each. Here is what I got.

Tetramicra canaliculata grows in Florida and the Caribbean on bushes in the full sun. It is warm growing, fragrant and blooms spring and summer. This is a genus than I was not familiar with but seems to fit my greenhouse well.

It is in a pad of sphagnum and I strongly suspect grows hanging down as shown. I'll attach it to cork bark without disturbing the roots.

Epidendrum rigidum grows in Florida and extends south through Central America and all along the eastern side of South America in a wide variety of tropical, low altitude conditions. It is cool to hot growing and blooms spring and fall.

I am going to pot this in pea gravel and place it in slightly lower light. The wet conditions I have through the summer should fool it into thinking it is in a mangrove swamp.

Pollardia livida grows from Mexico south to northern South America in seasonally dry forests. It is warm to hot growing, needs bright light and blooms through the year but mostly in winter. The flowers appear to bloom successively. This species was recently classified as Anacheilium and before that an Encyclia.

I am going to mount it on cork and place it where it will get watered but not misted. Based on how vertical the rhizome grows, that should be much better than potting as a way to grow this.

This is a NOID, a Bulbophullum or Cirrhopetalum of some sort. My collection seems to attract this kind of NOID.

I will try to get it going again just to see what kind of flower it has. This will be on a small cork mount in fairly low light and wet conditions. We'll see in a few months if it seems to be happy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another Box of Botanical Goodness from Carlos

Nothing brightens a day like a box of orchids, and one arrived yesterday. I had sent Carlos a box with 4 plants last week and this was the most generous reply. There were 8 plants, all species that I didn't have.

All 8 were in a small Priority Mail box, 8x5x2, packed in Spanish moss. It worked extremely well for the small plants, much better than if they had been individually wrapped.

Today's task is to get them cataloged and mounted or potted. Orchids are not fragile but it is best to get them in a growing environment right away.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Interesting week

I have been fighting with my server again. We had a 4-hour power outage that the UPS was not able to cover. The server took quite some time to get going again. I have to install updated drivers. Having my own server is one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time.

This distracted me but now I am back to thinking about orchids and will start posting again tomorrow.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dendrobium lindleyi

Dendrobium lindleyi - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThe spike (yes, just one) on my largest Dendrobium lindleyi has started to open. Dendrobium lindleyi grows from India to Vietnam. It is warm to hot growing and needs a dry winter rest. As the flowers mature, the color deepens.

Dendrobium lindleyi - Plant photo by Richard LindbergI am showing the picture from last year. It looks much better than this year's picture. I don't know what went wrong. It got the dry winter rest. I am thinking that I may have overdone it.

It was in the dry section of the greenhouse all year. I have the feeling that it didn't get the growth season water and feeding it needed.

I have been growing this species for some time and still don't know what to do with them. I can say the same for almost any Dendrobium species. I don't understand them.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Laeliocattleya Betty von Paulsen 'Drops of Gold'

Laeliocattleya Betty von Paulsen 'Drops of Gold' - Flower photo by Richard LindbergLaeliocattleya Betty von Paulsen 'Drops of Gold' has just bloomed. It has nice color even if the flowers are on the small side and they are not as flat as is fashionable right now. With Guarianthe (Cattleya) aurantiaca as one of the parents, having the flowers a little cupped is not at all surprising.

The Genus name has been changed to Cattlianthe. I have now changed the name in my inventory. I am never quite sure when it is appropriate to go against all the tags that have been make since the hybrid was made. I consider the RHS to be the standard for the "real" name but I know that many people still think of these as 'Lc'.

I am happy with the progress of the Cattleya in Sonoma. They are in good groups and they added new growth last year. There were not a lot of bloomed plants in 2010 since it was the year after many were divided and were growing new roots. But this year I am expecting quite a few of them to bloom. Everything is in smaller pots and they are getting less water.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Brassavola David Sander

One of the things I got from Dave last week was a pot with two Brassavola David Sander. These have been separated and potted. I was writing the catalog entry for them and part of that was to look it up in the RHS database available at When I did, using the name "David Sander" it came back with 11 possibilities, none of them "Brassavola David Sander".

Brassavola David Sander - Plant photo by Richard LindbergI had a monent when I wondered how to figure out which it was, but once I started looking at the Genus names it was not hard to eliminate most of them. That left me with Rhynchovola David Sander. When I looked at that, I saw that the Synonym Genus Name was Brassavola and that both of the parents were once Brassavola.

I was pleased to see that this was an old primary hybrid, registered in 1938. I like to see the classics still being collected.