Thursday, December 8, 2016

Paphiopedilum Lady Isabel 'US Botanical Gardens' AM/AOS CCM/AOS, seen in the National Conservatory, in the summer of 2004

Dendrobium amboinense Hook. 1856, The flowers are ephemeral and highly beautiful.

I grow this plant outside in a spot where it gets a few hours of full morning sun and shade for the rest of the day.  The plant has thrived in my garden which is located at an altitude of 300 mts in the central mountains of the Island of Puerto Rico.  This is the first time it has bloomed and it is clear it still has quite a bit to grow to achieve full sized adult canes.  In the last few months it has been raining almost every day but this has not bothered this plant at all.  The flowers last a single day, but I don't mind, there are many things in life that are like that.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Myrmecophila humboldtii [Rchb.f] Rolfe 1917, culture notes on growing this plant on the trunk of an avocado tree

When I first tried to grow Myrmecophila humboldtii, I tied it to an avocado tree.  Unfortunately, the place was too shady for the plant to bloom.  However it proved a very favorable place for it to grow.  And grow and grow and grow.  SInce it was not blooming it poured all its energy into producing canes and eventually became a large mass of pseudobulbs.  In time I removed pieces from this mass and moved them to sunnier spots where they bloomed.  The plant has continued growing up the tree.  The pseudobulbs shown in this photo have all died and decayed, but there are plenty of them higher in the tree.  The pseudobulbs are hollow and are inhabited by some ill tempered yellow ants.  The ants come out only at night.  If you damage the pseudobulbs they will come out.  The sting of these ants is painful and might produce some swelling.  For more information on the culture of this species, you can read:

Friday, November 25, 2016

Dendrobium spectabile flower visited by the large carpenter bee Xylocopa mordax

Because I live in the tropics, my orchid collection is all outside.  I live in the middle of an state forest which means that insects of all sorts are plentiful (this means the place is also infested with lots of spiders).  It is a common occurrence for orchids to be visited by insects.  However getting a photo of pollinators is not necessarily easy, as most visits are over in seconds.  I was lucky enough to catch this large carpenter bee in flagrante delicto.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Dendrobium (farmeri x densiflorum)

Sadly I lost this beautiful and floriferous plant.  But if I ever see this cross again for sale, I will buy it in a second!!