Monday, May 28, 2012

Dendrobium pachyphyllum in bloom

I have had this little mounted miniature Dendrobium for 10 months, so this is the first time that it has bloomed for me.  There are about 20 flowers that are smaller than a penny.

Dendrobium pachyphyllum
When you look at them up close you can see how neat they are, even though they are tiny.  They are also really pleasantly fragrant.  Christie said they smelled a little like honeysuckle.  I was thinking I smelled some mint.

Dendrobium pachyphyllum bloom detail

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Trip Report: OKC Orchid Show, part 2

I have already posted about a dozen photos from the OKC Orchid Show, so check those out, if you haven't already.

Blc. Waianea Leopard 'Ching Hua'
Just like there are "Vanda People" and "Slipper People," there are "Catt(leya) People." I have to say that I am not one of those people. Cattleyas tend to be large flowers that are kind of frilly like bearded Irises, and they just don't appeal to me that much. That being said, I do enjoy some Cattleyas, mainly the spotted ones, and I am posting photos of those.

Cattleya Green Emerald 'Queen'
Cattleya schilleriana
Brassavola nodosa is a popular orchid that is known for its fragrance, but only in the evening. There are several cultivars or hybrids made with this species, including Brassavola Little Stars (below).

Brassavola Little Stars
By far the coolest thing I saw at the show was the Dendrobium Black Spider. I haven't ever seen a black Dendrobium, or really anything close to this dark. When I was helping tear down the exhibits on Sunday I complimented the grower on her black Dendrobium and she kind of shrugged and didn't say anything. I guess some people are less interested in discussing their plants than others. Or maybe she was just tired from the weekend...

Dendrobium Black Spider
I don't know whether Encyclias are more popular around here than I had previously thought, or if I am just paying more attention to them this year, or if this is just a really good blooming year for them. Whatever the case, there were many Encyclias on display in Wichita and in Oklahoma City.

Encyclia alata
The plant above is the species Encyclia alata and the plant below is a primary hybrid of Encyclia alata and Encyclia mooreana. Both are awesome plants.

Encyclia alata x mooreana
The large primary hybrid above and the species below were both featured as the centerpiece of their respective displays. In fact, that photo above was taken before any of the rest of the plants were in place. (I wouldn't have been able to get such a picture of just this plant once the exhibit was assembled, because many other plants were crowded around it.

Encyclia alatum majus
Don't you just love the colors of the Encyclia hanburii (below)?  Just awesome!

Encyclia hanburii
The odd ball Encyclia at the show is one of those that keeps getting shuffled around taxonomically.  It has been in several different genera, including Encyclia, Anacheilium, Prosthechea and, of course, the original catch-all genus Epidendrum.  According to, which is what I normally consider the authority, it is currently classified as Anacheilium radiata.

Encylia radiata
I hope you enjoyed your virtual participation in the Oklahoma Orchid Society show.  If you're in the area, you should try to attend in person next year.  We always have our show on Mother's Day weekend at the Will Rogers Garden Center in Oklahoma City.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Trip Report: OKC Orchid Show, part 1

For the last four or five years I have attended the Oklahoma Orchid Society (OOS) show on Mother's Day weekend in Oklahoma City. Last year when I attended I decided to go ahead and join the OOS. So this year, when it was time to put on the show, I found myself on the other side, showing up on Friday to help set up the show before it was open to the public.

Brian Truong's (a.k.a. Okie Orchids) exhibit
It was a very busy weekend, including three graduation ceremonies and two Mother's Day meals. I took off work on Friday to help setup the OOS exhibit and to help the vendors bring in their plants. It was a fun experience and I understand the whole process much better now. Christie joined me with the setup and was the official label maker for the plants displayed in the OOS exhibit.

Unknown jewel orchid
This time around I entered three of my own orchids, including the jewel orchid pictured below, which got a 2nd place ribbon. Plants are classified in different categories and my jewel orchid would have been competing against the plant pictured above, which received a first place ribbon. My other two orchids both received first place ribbons, so I am now 5 for 5 with the plants I have shown in orchid shows!

Sarcoglottis sceptrodes
The Stelis pictured below was on display in our OOS exhibit. It is a neat little plant, named after one of the guys who had that gigantic exhibit in Wichita a couple of weeks ago.

Stelis scabrata 'Bryon'
There were two little Phalaenopsis-type orchids in our exhibit that had really nice little flowers (both pictured below).

Nice yellow Phalaenopsis
Dtps. Little Gem Stripe
Sarah Pratt of Timbucktoo Orchids came down from the Wichita area and set up both a nice exhibit and had a vendor table. Her exhibit included a big Stanhopea embreei (below) which was still in bud when we helped her unload, but had opened on Sunday when I was helping tear down. I hope that it opened on Saturday when the judges made their rounds and the bulk of the crowd was there.

Stanhopea embreei
Stanhopea embreei, closeup of flowers
I know I have shown Grammatophyllum pictures several times, but it is such a cool plant, that I just have to show them off again (below). This plant gets gigantic, but that won't stop me from growing one some day.

Grammatophyllum scriptum
In Wichita I was discussing orchids with my friends and learned that the correct pronunciation of the genus Coelogyne is "suh-LODGE-uh-nee." I won't try and figure out how I was saying it in my head up until then, but it was significantly different enough that I didn't even know what plant Steve was talking about when he was saying this name. Later when we were by the labeled plant it suddenly dawned on me that that was the name Steve had been saying earlier.

Coelogyne speciosa
Both Catasetums and Coelogyne tend to grow from large pseudobulbs with pendulous or semi-upright spikes of flowers. I haven't grown either of these genera before. There were a couple of nice specimens at the show.

Catasetum tenebrosum
There was a really interesting intergeneric hybrid (I think) orchid for sale from Orchid Konnection. I couldn't find a tag on either of the two plants for sale, but Christie and I both stopped and noticed this one. It was just very unusual colors and markings for this type of orchid (below). It remains a mystery for now... [Update: The plant has been tentatively identified by commenter Peaches!]

Really neat plant for sale from Orchid Konnection, probably Bllra. Patricia McCully 'Pacific Matriarch'
I have some more photos to share, so stay tuned for the second part.

Friday, May 18, 2012

My first Pinellias

Last year, Derek got some great photos of his Pinellia tripartita in bloom, including one photo which was featured in the International Aroid Society calendar.  This plant is known to spread like crazy, since it offsets from the tubers, produces viable seed and also form bulbils at base of the petioles.  He shared some of his bulb offsets with me and then later some seeds, too.  I planted these in pots and kept them in my greenhouse over the winter.  The seeds sprouted shortly after I got them and stayed about the same over the winter.  The bulb offsets were dormant when I potted them up, but they have come up now and produced an inflorescence, which now has berries (infructescence).

Pinellia tripartita

I haven't planted this one outside yet and it performed so well for me in the pot this year that I don't know if I will.  However, since I have so many seeds, it looks like I could easily have enough to plant some outdoors and keep some in pots, which would be nice.

Pinellia tripartita infructescence
At the IAS show in September I picked up a Pinellia pedatisecta,  which Dr. Croat had pulled up from his own yard.  I planted that one outside and it has also come up and produced an inflorescence, and has now set berries.  Both of these plants are hardy in zones 5-10, so they shouldn't have any trouble with the extreme heat or freezing temperatures of my zone.

Pinellia pedatisecta
Pinellia pedatisecta infructescence
At the Wichita orchid show I traded some plants with friends that I was meeting there.  I got a nice clump of Pinellia ternata from Steve and have planted those beside the Pinellia pedatisecta beside the greenhouse.  This plant also produces bulbils at the base of the petioles, so it spreads in a variety of methods.

Pinellia ternata
I know this plant doesn't look great right now, having just been transplanted, but it should perk up given a little time.  Hopefully next year the clump is just as big and has a couple of blooms to go along with it.  This little strip of garden along the back side of my greenhouse is becoming the hardy aroids area.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Project: Homemade orchid basket

I made a couple of orchid baskets out of sticks and wire last year.  Those are cool, but they are not quite as sturdy and permanent as I was wanting.  They tend to come apart pretty easily.  I was looking at some orchid forums online and came across some similar baskets that were constructed a little differently, so I decided to give it a try.

Completed orchid basket, ready for a plant
First, I needed to get some sticks with a larger diameter and then use my table saw to cut them lengthwise, yielding a smooth edge.  Then I attach these with small nails to upward supports in each corner.  The bottom was a little more improvised, using paint stir sticks.

Stanhopea oculata in new orchid basket
I lined the basket with a coconut fiber liner and then potted a Stanhopea oculata in sphagnum moss.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Trip Report: Orchid Show in Wichita, Odds and Ends

This is the final episode of the 6 part series on the orchid show I attended in Wichita a couple of weeks ago.  If you haven't already, read about the exhibits, slippers and Vandas, Dendrobiums and Encyclias, and uncommon orchids I saw there.  This last post will just feature any pictures that I have left that I wanted to share.  There's not a real unifying theme among them.

First, I'll show off the two plants I purchased at the show that I haven't already shown you.  I purchased a Holcoglossum wangii from Oak Hill Gardens.  I have been seeing this genus for a while and knew that Oak Hill had a couple species for sale as mounted plants, so this was on my want list before I went to the show.  We picked out a nice, full plant to add to my terete leaved orchid collection.

Holcoglossum wangii hanging in my greenhouse
I'm sad to report that Oak Hill Gardens, one of my favorite orchid vendors, is closing their doors soon.  They are selling their orchids to another grower and selling their property to a non-orchid nursery company or something like that.  I have purchased more plants from Oak Hill than any other grower and I wish they were still going to be in business.  They have reasonable prices and grow a lot of species orchids.  They will be missed.

Anthurium marmoratum back at home
The other plant that I purchased and haven't yet shown off is not an orchid, but an aroid.  It is Anthurium marmoratum and is a really nice plant (above).  I have only seen this plant for sale on occasion on eBay and it is always much more than I paid.  I purchased this plant from Prairie Orchids.  They also had some really nice velvet leaf Anthuriums in their exhibit (pictured below).

A couple of Anthurium in the Prairie Orchids exhibit
The largest genus in the orchid family is Bulbophyllum.  I am not particularly drawn to this genus, but there are a couple of species that I like.  Below is a Bulbophyllum with rather large flowers (for the genus).

Bulbophyllum lobbii var. sumatranum 'Lenny'
The picture below is fairly representative, but there is just no comparison to seeing this plant in person.  This jewel orchid, Macodes petola, looks like lightning is running through the leaves.  It is really something to see, and this particular plant was very healthy and larger than any I had seen before.

Beautiful jewel orchid, Macodes petola
There are people who are absolutely fanatical about Neofinetias.  It is a tiny genus of just three known species, and yet there are hundreds of cultivars and intergeneric hybrids, including the genera Darwinia and Ascocenda.  The most common species, Neofinetia falcata, is known as the "Japanese Wind Orchid," and these plants are displayed in artistic displays and beautiful Asian pots like bonsai plants through Korea, China and especially in Japan.  The flower of the pure species Neofinetia falcata is white, but cultivars have light highlights of pink, purple or orange.  Hybrids can result in muted solid colors, like the plant pictured below.

Neofinetia hybrid for sale at Michel Orchids table
I have started growing several Cymbidium recently, primarily because they were given to me.  I would like to be able to grow these well, but the culture is different enough from my other orchids that I don't know if I will succeed.  All of my Cymbidiums produce their blooms on upright stalks.  Other Cymbidiums have pendulous bloom spikes that hang down from the plant, making these plants best suited to baskets or some other set up where the blooms will not just be laying on the ground.  There was a nice pendulous Cymbidium on display in Wichita (below).

Pendulous Cymbidium finlaysonianum 'Zia's Ray'
I hope you enjoyed my orchid show pictures.  Stay tuned for some photos from the orchid show I attended in Oklahoma City a couple of weeks later!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Trip Report: Orchid Show in Wichita, uncommon orchids

This is the fourth post in a 5 part series.  Part 1 focused on the exhibits; part 2 on the Slippers and Vandas; and part 3 on the Dendrobiums and Encyclias.  This time around, I'm going to show some pictures of some nice orchids you just don't see every day.

Phalaenopsis is the most widely known orchid, the one that you can find for sale in grocery stores and hardware stores.  So, I am kind of starting off this post of "uncommon orchids" with one of the most common orchids there is!  They are so popular for a number of reasons, one being that they are not too hard to grow and to get to re-flower.  Most orchid growers have some of these on hand in their collections because they know they bloom reliably each year.

Phalaenopsis with "brush strokes"
Another reason they are so popular is because of the hybridization potential.  It seems the hybridizers always have something a little new with these orchids - a new color combination or a new pattern.  The Phalaenopsis pictured above is a fairly new pattern, with what looks like brush strokes near the edges.  I remember a year or two ago I saw my first harlequin (patches of color) Phalaenopsis.  This year, the pattern that was new to me is kind of hard to describe.  It looks like some drops of color have been splashed onto the flowers and repelled other colors.  There is a sort of white halo around these dots.

Phalaenopsis with interesting color pattern
There were other nice hybrid Phalaenopsis with all sorts of different colors and patterns.  There was a really neat specimen of Phalaenopsis deceptrix cornu-cervi (below) on display, too.  The blooms from this orchid emerge from a weird, zigzag spike.  When the flowers are finished, it looks like this plant has two distinct types of leaves.  I don't know what people normally do when they have this plant and it finishes flowering, but I would have trouble cutting off those weird spikes.  I would want to leave them on the plant.

Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi (labeled Phalaenopsis deceptrix)
Eulophia guineensis is a really nice flower, which looks similar to some Encyclias, except that the lip is much larger than the petals and sepals, which are always pointing upwards.  Also, the plant is different morphologically and is terrestrial, whereas Encyclias are epiphytic.  Eulophias are native to equatorial Africa and this species is probably one of the more common ones to find in someone's collection.

Eulophia guineensis
Grammatophyllum is the genus of "giant orchids."  These plants get really large and can become very heavy with time.  I like how their roots point upwards (not shown in this photo).  They have very neat blooms of brown and yellow.  Usually they are pretty spotted, like a leopard.  This particular plant was named Leopard and yet, the blooms weren't really spotted.  It was more like the brown had taken over all but the edge of the petals, which retained the yellow coloring.

Grammatophyllum Leopard
The plant below belongs to the Mexicoa genus, which I had never heard of.  It was a nicely grown plant with some neat little yellow flowers.  I think that Mexicoa is a monotypic genus, because I can't find any references to a species other than this one.  Apparently, it used to be Oncidium ghiesbrechtiana, but has unique floral features that allowed it to be moved to its own genus.

Mexicoa ghiesbrechtiana
My friend, Leland, who lives in Hawaii is on the brink of being sucked into the orchid vortex.  The orchid of his dreams is Bulbophyllum phalaenopsis.  (Why did they let someone give a genus name in place of the specific epithet?)  The species gets very large leaves that look like those of the Phalaenopsis genus.  You don't even notice the psuedobulbs much due to the large leaves.  When this plant blooms, it creates this hanging purple tongue of flowers that smell like a thousand dead elephants.  Prairie Orchids had this plant for sale for $75, which is not out of the ordinary for this species.

Bulbophyllum phalaenopsis
The final two orchids are both Pleurothallis and were both for sale at vendor's booths.  I just have one little Pleurothallis and I really like it.  They tend to be cool to intermediate growers and don't need much light.  I keep mine on the kitchen windowsill inside and it has been growing well for me.  I probably need to fertilize it because it was blooming this time last year when I bought it and it is bigger this year and not blooming.

Pleurothallis ornata for sale at Andy's Orchids booth
Pleurothallis ornata (above) has these cool little icicles (not the technical term) hanging from the blooms.  Now the photo above doesn't show scale, but these little flowers are smaller than a dime.  Generally people that grow Pleurothallis and related genera are interested in miniatures and oddballs.  I'll be trying more of these in the future.

Now, prepare yourself.  The photo you are about to see is amazing...

Pleurothallis dilemma for sale at Ecuagenera booth
By far the most bizarre plant at the show was this Pleurothallis dilemma (above).  Eat your heart out, cucumber orchid!  This thing is like the "conjoined twin green bean" orchid.  It was for sale at the Ecuagenera table and I really wish I had bought it now.  Of course, my allowance is better off, but man, is this ever a neat little oddity!  (There is a better photo here.)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Trip Report: Orchid Show in Wichita, Dendrobiums and Encyclias

This is part 3 of the 5 part series known as "Orchid Show in Wichita."  If you missed the first or second post, check them out here and here.

First, you might be wondering what Dendrobiums and Encyclias have to do with one another.*  The truth is just that these are two of my favorite orchid genera.  There were lots of plants from these two genera at the show and I took lots of photos of them.  So they grouped themselves well for a blog post.  Now you know.

Me standing beside the really tall Dendrobium
Sarah Pratt is the owner of Timbucktoo Orchids and has come to speak to our Oklahoma Orchid Society in the past year.  She had a large, walk-through exhibit that featured four different very tall Dendrobiums from section Spatulata, which means they have the tall "antlers" or "antennae."  I know that I'm not a very tall guy, but still!  Those plants (above) are sitting on the ground and easily two or three feet taller than I am.  The sheer size of the plants can be overwhelming such that you miss how cool the individual blooms are.  But I took the time to stop and
smell the rosesphotograph the flowers (below), for your enjoyment.

Dendrobium Exotic's Spiral
I didn't see the labels on these two orchids (below and above).  The one above could possibly be Dendrobium aries.  It might also be a hybrid with or without D. aries as a parent.  The one below is almost definitely the species Dendrobium discolor.  [Update: I contacted the owner of these plants and got both of the names.  The plant above is Dendrobium Exotic's Spiral, which is D. Palolo Rainbow x D. strebloceras.  The one below is what I was thinking, the species Dendrobium discolor.]

Dendrobium discolor
I recently bought a Dendrobium kingianum.  My plant is a little clump of green.  This one (below) that was for sale at the Andy's Orchids table has very dark leaves of a purple/red shade.  It is a really nice little plant.

Dendronium kingianum for sale at Andy's Orchids booth
I purchased a really nice miniature Dendrobium Micro Chip,
also known as Dendrobium Aussie Chip, because apparently there was something invalid about the name "Micro Chip."  [Correction: The hybrid Dendrobium Aussie Chip is a cross between Den. aberrans and Den. atroviolaceum.Micro Chip is a primary hybrid of Den. aberrans x Den. normanbyense.  It is covered in little white flowers that are peppered with black specks.

Dendrobium Micro Chip
Dendrobium Micro Chip - Birdseye view so you can see the peppering
There are several species of Dendrobium that are similar to my Dendrobium anceps that bloomed recently.  One of these has dark pink blooms that are much more attractive than my little green blooms.  That species (Dendrobium rosellum) also has more coloration in the leaves themselves.  There was a nice specimen (shown above) in the gigantic display at the show.

Dendrobium rosellum
When I walk into an orchid show I am in shock for a couple of minutes.  I hope that as long as I live, and as many orchid shows that I attend, I never get to the point where I don't have that experience when I first walk into one of these shows.  When we got to this show, I paused momentarily and tried to get my bearings, before diving right in to look as closely as I could at the vendor tables, trying to not miss anything important.  On the first table we looked at there was a large and flowering Encyclia that smelled wonderful.  It was priced so reasonably we immediately agreed that it would be going home with us.  But seeing as it was the first table of plants, we were patient and decided to just keep an eye on it while we scoped out the other vendors.  We ended up going back to buy it not long after, before even finishing looking at the other vendors.

Christie with Encyclia Gay Rabbit
Encyclia Gay Rabbit closeup (Do you see the rabbit ears?)
Christie carried this orchid around with us for most of the show.  It was a bit heavy since it was a large plant, potted in a clay pot, so I joked that she was my orchid pack mule.  She was a pretty happy pack mule though, because we had this awesome aroma following us around as we looked at the plants.  I would relieve her for a little bit and carry the plant while pointing at plants that I wanted her to photograph for me.  The plant is Encyclia Gay Rabbit, which is a 2nd generation hybrid, including E. cordigera and E. alata.

Encyclia primary hybrid, with Enc. bractescens as one parent.
I was tempted to purchase one of these hybrids with bractescens parentage, but I got another one from Michel (below).  It is Encyclia profusa x E. fowlei.  The species E. profusa has been on my want list and I also really like E. fowlei.  It should be neat to see what this plant looks like when it blooms, and I shouldn't have to wait too long since it is in bud.  E. profusa has dainty, creamy white flowers with a little bit of pink on the lip.  E. fowlei has a creamy yellow flower with some brown streaks.  The petals of fowlei flare out a little, so there will probably be some variation in the form of the flowers.  The color could be anything from white to brown, possibly with some pink on the column or lip.

My Encyclia profusa x fowlei in bud
Michel Orchids had a lot of primary hybrids of Encyclias and other interesting plants.  The plant pictured above was one of these.  I can't remember what the other parent was for this particular hybrid, but the Enc. bractescens is pretty apparent with these tiny flowers and the thin leaves.

Encyclia (possibly cordigera v. rosea)
The plant above is probably Encyclia cordigera v. rosea, but I didn't take a picture of the label so I can't be sure.  Either way, it's a nice orchid with fragrant flowers.

Encyclia Hereford Jewel (Enc. cordigera x Enc. bractescens)
The plant above is another primary hybrid that was on display and had received several awards.  It is obviously being grown well considering the number of flowers.

* If you're curious about how closely related the Dendrobium and Encyclia genera are, they are both within the same subfamily, Epidendroideae.  That doesn't say too much though, considering there are only five subfamilies in the Orchid family, which is hugely diverse.  Also, the Epidendroideae subfamily is the largest with 576 genera and more than 15,000 species.