The first of our Cattleya trianae clones has opened it flower.
This orchid is a very reliable spring flowering species which thrives in our Warm Americas section. We find that we have different clones flowering from early February (alba is always the first) through to April.
Cattleya trianae is the national flower of Colombia and is endemic to that country where it is found in open woodland at around 1000m altitude. In cultivation we find that plants enjoy good light and free draining compost but plenty of water when in growth. We grow all our Cattleya trianaes in baskets hung high in the roof of the greenhouse and filled with a course bark and no moss. The plants produce masses of roots and we keep them just damp in the winter but much wetter in the summer.
This plant is labelled ‘alba’ and is mostly missing the usual purple and pink colouring but there is a slight pink tone on the lip near the yellow blotch.
This terrific orchid is always a talking point with its dramatic and intricate flowers. We are in the fortunate position of always having at least one bulbophyllum species in flower at the school greenhouse and at the moment the main talking point is this terrific orchid with its dramatic and intricate flowers.
This is one of our favourite Bulbophyllum species as plants are vigorous and free flowering. For us the species tends to flower twice a year in the winter and again in late spring which more than makes up for the flowers only lasting two weeks in peak condition. We grow plants in baskets in shade in our Warm Asia section and water throughout the year.
Bulbophyllum picturatum is native to lowland forest in Thailand and Myanmar where it grows as an epiphyte in evergreen trees. The intricate flowers are produces in a terminal semicircular circular umbel like group. This habit is common in a large group of Bulbophyllums once called cirrhopetalums. The large creamy yellow tube at the bottom of the flower is formed from the lateral sepals. The flowers are fragrant and have a fishy smell which is not unpleasant.
The genus bulbophyllum is wonderfully diverse, with lots of fascinating pollination stories and I recommend anyone who has not tried a plant yet to give bulbophyllums a go.
A very reliable and floriferous species in our Cool Americas section is this small growing restrepia species. Restrepia muscifera is a variable species found from Central America through to Ecuador and this red spotted clone in particular is a strong growing and free flowering plant that regularly sends out show like the one we are enjoying this week.
This is a good time to propagate restrepias either by division or even from single leaves, removed with its stalk, or even better a little rhizome and root. We pot divisions into 3cm pots of just bark and keep plants damp and shaded until well established.
This lovely little orchid is flowering again although we are about to cut all the flowers off, and divide the plant as it has outgrown its basket. We find that Masdevallias grow very actively during February, March and April and so now is the perfect time to divide plants. The active growth over the next few months will ensure that plants establish quickly, get new roots into fresh compost, and not suffer a setback.
Today we have already split Masdevallia coccinea ‘Writhlington’ (below) into 12 plants and these should be for sale and flowering at the Malvern Show in July, for all of those who have been asking every year if we have any divisions for sale 🙂
Back to Masdevallia pandurilabia, it is a small growing species native to Peru. Masdevallia pandurilabia grows in cloud forest above 2600m altitude and loves it cool and moist with good air movement. Some species from similar habitats are a challenge to grow well in a greenhouse, but this species seems to be a vigorous grower and as you can see from the photo on the left produces lovely glossy leaves too. We grow this species in baskets of bark and moss and give it a minimum of 10C.
The flowers are produced in some abundance on long flower spikes and have dramatic spotting and crossed legs (tails). Despite the unusual spots and crossed legs the species gets its name from its lute shaped lip (its actually rather small so a teeny weeny lute). Plants of this will also be for sale at Malvern.
Diversity has always been at the heart of the orchid project and here is a species from a diverse and interesting genus. This pretty orchid flowers several times each year from its long pendulous stems and was last in flower in February. The species is native to Java and Borneo and in the wild it is found at around 1000m altitude. We find that the species is tolerates a wide range of temperatures and it grows well both in Cool Americas (minimum 12C) or in Warm Asia (minimum 16C).
We grow plants in baskets and let the stems hang downwards. Plants seem to enjoy regular watering and we spray them daily.
Schoenorchis is an interesting genus related to Vanda that includes some very small species such as Scoenorchis fragrans as well as large growing plants such as todays orchid of the day.