This week we have visitors coming to learn about our project, orchid growing and orchid propagation. We started by preparing lots of growing media for seed sowing and re-plating seedlings.
This is us pouring the runny agar into jars
This is us preparing the jars to go into the autoclave.
And finally putting the jars into the autoclave basket.
We are busy this week getting ready for our visitors so we need a good team of students. A clown is an important member of any team so here is Ed……with a clown orchid 🙂
This is another species found in the Sikkim Himalaya. It’s range extends right through South East Asia and Southern China to Taiwan. It grows as an epiphyte or lithophyte from 100 to 1800m where it clambers across trunks or rocks in shaded forest.
The single flowers have prominent red stripes that give the species its common name in China – the striped star orchid.
This plant seems to grow equally well in Warm Asia or Cool Americas where we grow it mounted to accommodate its long rhizome.
This species is quite a small plant but has very large flowers on long stems. It is rather whimsically named after the character Don Quixote in the novel by Miguel de Cervantes because the lateral sepal looks like a lance and the lateral sepals like the bow legs of the old knight. (Quijote is the Spanish spelling)
The species is endemic to Ecuador where it is found between 1000 and 1700m in damp forest. Flower stems produce a succession of flowers over a long period so don’t cut stems until they finally turn brown.
Our most floriferous Gongora species is galeata. This species is native to wet montane and cloud forests in Mexico from 600 to 1800m.
Like all our Gongora species we grow the plant in a basket to allow for its pendulous flower spikes and keep the plant damp all year round but wetter in the summer.
Keeping hanging baskets damp can be difficult as it involves watering upwards and so we keep our Gongoras on benches except when flower spikes are spotted and then they are hung from the roof.