Friday, June 30, 2017

More Sansevieria blooms

I don't have many Sansevieria in my collection. For some reason this was a banner year for the plants that I do have. I think I just have five plants and three of them have bloomed! I already wrote about one blooming in February. Then at the end of May I noticed that another of my Sansevieria was blooming. This one was purchased from Lowe's (I think) with a generic "Sansevieria" tag on it, so it is unlikely that it is a species. The flowers smell like ripe bananas.

unlabeled Sansevieria

unlabeled Sansevieria
At the same time I was pulling down that plant to take some photos of the flowers I realized that another of my Sansevieria was spiking. This last one was a plant I purchased at the Oklahoma Cacti and Succulent show last year, Sansevieria kirkii.

Sansevieria kirkii
Sansevieria kirkii

Sansevieria kirkii
Sansevieria kirkii
This species has incredibly thick and sturdy leaves. They could just about be used in a sword fight and stand up to the beating of a metal blade.

Sansevieria kirkii
Sansevieria kirkii flowers

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Stapelia hirsuta

My recent post about the cacti and succulent show had me looking back at my photos of my Stapeliads and I realized that I had never uploaded photos from when my Stapelia hirsuta bloomed last September.  It was a busy time of year, shortly after our son joined our family, and we were getting used to being responsible for two kiddos!

Stapelia hirsuta
Full plant in flower

Stapelia hirsuta
Check out all that hair

This species is very similar to Stapelia gigantean, which blooms for me regularly.  The plant itself is nearly identical when not in bloom.  The flowers of S. hirsuta are more red with yellow rather than yellow with red and they are also much hairier, hence the specific epithet "hirsuta" (hirsute = hairy).

Stapelia hirsuta
Petals have reflexed backwards

Stapelia hirsuta
This house fly thinks he has found some dead meat

What struck me most about the flowers was how strongly the petals reflexed backwards when the flower opened.  I haven't noticed this with any other Stapelia species.

Stapelia hirsuta
A look at the reflexed petals from the backside of the flower

Monday, June 26, 2017

Encyclia inventory

Over time my collection of plants changes quite a bit. I buy new plants and other plants perish. At times I have tried to keep a comprehensive inventory, but my commitment to keep that inventory updated doesn't last and it gets to a point where it is so far behind I almost feel I need to start over.

E. tampensis v. alba
E. tampensis v. alba

Encyclia atrorubens?
E. atrorubens?
This plant is labeled as E. guatemalensis, but that is not a recognized species.

Encyclia tampensis
E. tampensis
This plant FINALLY bloomed this year after having been in my collection for almost 6 years.
You'll notice it looks very similar to the first plant pictured in this post, except the first plant is lacking the pink,
since it is the "alba" variety.
Recently I decided to inventory my plants in groups. I'm starting with my collection of Encyclia, which is probably the genus of which I have the most plants. It's fun to post this list now because a lot of them are blooming or bloomed recently.  It turns out I have more than 35 Encyclia plants, consisting of 22 species and10 known hybrids.  (I know, 22 and 10 do not add up to 35, but I have a couple of duplicates and a couple of unknowns.)

Complete inventory of Encyclia species:
  • E. angustiloba 
  • E. aspera
  • E. aspera
  • E. belizensis **
  • E. cordigera
  • E. fowliei x fowliei 'Duncan'
  • E. fucata
  • E. gracilis
  • E. guatemalensis * (may actually be E. atrorubens)
  • E. hanburyi 'Mem. Merlin Rigley'
  • E. kennedyi
  • E. moebusii
  • E. navanjapatensis
  • E. patens
  • E. phoenicea
  • E. plicata **
  • E. polybulbon
  • E. ramonense 'Dr Pepper' **
  • E. randii
  • E. seidelii *
  • E. tampensis *
  • E. tampensis v. alba **
  • E. unaensis
* indicates a species that has bloomed for me
** indicates a species that blooms regularly for me

I'm not a complete species purist, but I do concentrate on collecting species.  Most of my hybrids are ones that I acquired in eBay auctions of multiple plants, and they were bundled with species I was interested in purchasing.  In all I have 12 hybrid orchids that include Encyclia among the parents or grandparents.

Complete inventory of Encyclia hybrids:
  • E. Faerie Glen (diota x mooreana) *
  • E. John Brunton (mooreana x tampensis)
  • E. phoenicea x tampensis
  • E. tampensis v. alba 'Mendenhall' x plicata 'Cherokee'
  • E. Cindy x dickinsoniana
  • E. Orchid Jungle (alata x phoenicea)
  • E. Gay Rabbit ([alata x cordigera] cordigera) *
  • E. (unidentified hybrid potted with Gay Rabbit) *
  • E. (unidentified, possibly Grand Bahama)
  • Epy. Mabel Kanda (E. cordigera x Epi. paniculatum) *
  • Epc. Siam Jade (C. Penny Kuroda x Epc. Vienna Woods)
  • Eplc. Pixie Charm (Lc. Pixie x E. alata)
* indicates a species that has bloomed for me

Epicyclia Mabel Kanda
Epy. Mabel Kanda
An intergeneric hybrid between Epidendrum and Encyclia.
I had to look up the correct abbreviation for this one in the RHS register.

Encyclia Faerie Glen (diota x mooreana)
E. Faerie Glen
This is a new plant that I just purchased at Santa Barbara Orchid Estate when I was in California in March.
The hybrids are a mix bag of primary hybrids (a pure species crossed with another species), multi-generation hybrids, and even intergeneric (plants from different genus being crossed) hybrids.  A lot of Encyclia are used in orchid hybridization, especially crossing with Cattleya, Laelia, and Epidendrum.  You'll notice that Mabel Kanda hybrid is a cross of an Encyclia and an Epidendrum, while Siam Jade is a second generation intergeneric hybrid - a Cattleya crossed with a hybrid of an Encyclia and a Cattleya.

Encyclia Gay Rabbit (cordigera x Gail Nakagaki)
Unidentified Encyclia hybrid

The Encyclia above is a mystery because it is in a pot labeled Enc. Gay Rabbit. There are a lot of pseudobulbs in the pot and I have actually had two concurrent spikes with different flowers.  One set of flowers has a white lip with some dark pink streaking (as shown in the photo), while the other flowers have a solid pink lip.  I believe one is correctly labeled Gay Rabbit and the other (pictured above) may be something different.  It is also possible that both are the same hybrid from the same parents and they are just displaying some of the variation expected for this hybrid.

I have one other plant that is missing a label.  I am pretty certain it is an Encyclia species or hybrid, because the pseudobulbs and growth habit match and it is sitting with all of my other Encyclia.  Based on my past records, I think it may be E. Grand Bahama (tampensis x plicata).  I'm going to put that tentative label on it for now.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Cactus and Succulent Show 2017

I have attended the annual show of the Central Oklahoma Cactus and Succulent Society (COCSS) for the last several years.  Although I don't spend a lot of time thinking about these plants or actively collecting them throughout the year, I always enjoy the show and find some really good deals on interesting plants.

Central Oklahoma Cacti and Succulent Show
Some nice plants that received ribbons in the show area.

Matucana madisoniorum
Matucana madisoniorum - the most striking flowers at the show.
I only took a few photos of show and sale plants this year other than the ones I purchased.

Euphorbia neorubella (labeled as Monadenium rubellum)
Euphorbia neorubella
This year I purchased 7 plants: Kalanchoe tomentosa, an unlabeled Huernia species, Huernia keniensis, Caralluma europea, Opuntia violaceaTillandsia tricolor v. melanocrater, and Tillandsia schiedeana.

Kalanchoe tomentosa
Kalanchoe tomentosa

Huernia sp., Huernia keniensis, and Caralluma europea
Huernia sp., Huernia keniensis, and Caralluma europea

Huernia sp
The unidentified Huernia
Tillandsias aren't truly cacti or succulents, but the term "succulents" is already rather broad and is not taxonomically linked, like "cacti" is to the family Cactaceae.  I guess cacti and succulent people just like Tillandsias and brought some to sell.  I'm excited because one of them is on the verge of blooming.

Tillandsia schiedeana and Tillandsia tricolor v. melanocrater
Tillandsia schiedeana and Tillandsia tricolor v. melanocrater
As I've mentioned before, my favorite succulents are the Stapeliads.  I have found that I can grow them pretty well, so I try to focus my money on those plants.  With my recent purchases my Stapeliad collection now includes 10 species:
  • Caralluma europea
  • Huernia sp (unknown species)
  • Huernia confusa
  • Huernia keniensis
  • Huernia penzigii
  • Huernia schneideriana
  • Stapelia ambigua
  • Stapelia flavopurpurea
  • Stapelia gigantea
  • Stapelia hirsuta
I've had some others in the past, but have lost some over the years.

Huernia penzigii
A recent bloom on my Huernia penzigii
A friend from northwest Arkansas came over for the show. I met him and his wife there and we exchanged a few plants and visited for a short time.  He brought me a neat Sinningia tubiflora, which was bred for hardiness in our region, as well as Kalanchoe beauverdii and Bryophyllum fedtschenkoi. Hopefully the Sinningia will flower for me soon and I'll share some photos.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Trip Report: Wichita wildflowers

Back in April my family went camping in the Wichita Mountains of southwest Oklahoma.  We planned a camping trip down there more than a year ago, which was postponed due to rain.  The same thing happened on our rescheduled date.  I was really happy that this time around the weather was cooperative - in fact, it was more than cooperative, it was perfect!

Plains Flax (Linum puberulum)
Plains Flax (Linum puberulum)

Prairie Larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum ssp. virescens)
Prairie Larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum ssp. virescens)

A significant motivator for camping in this location is that the Black-capped Vireo, an endangered species, nests in this area and it is one of the few places in the United States where this species can be reliably found.  I was successful with the vireo and added a total of 7 new species of my life bird list (Black-capped Vireo, Cave Swallow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Chuck-will's-widow, and Rufous-crowned Sparrow).

Black-capped Vireo
Black-capped Vireo

unusual color variant of Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa)
unusual white form of Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa)

We saw some other wild animals besides birds - rabbits, TONS of prairie dogs, bison, and lizards.  Ever since the Oklahoma Virtual Spring BioBlitz in April I have been logging as many wild living species as I can - plants, animals, insects, fungi, what-have-you.  I spent a lot of this trip taking pictures to upload to  And once we were home I spent a lot of time trying to identify everything I had seen.  Each picture is a fun puzzle and process of discovery.

Variegated Fritillary
Variegated Fritillary

Lace hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus reichenbachii)
Lace Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus reichenbachii)

There were many wildflowers in bloom in the Wichitas - Opuntia, Yucca, and Echinocereus cacti, Gallardia, Gaura, Linum, Castilleja, Delphinium, and more.

Opuntia sp.

Kern's Flower Scarab (Euphoria kernii) in Opuntia
Opuntia with pollinator, Kern's Flower Scarab

My full album can be seen here:

Wichita Mountains