Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Stanhopea panamensis N.H. Williams & Whitten 1988, this plant came from a selfing of the clone "chocolate mint"

I have had this plant for many years. It is easy to cultivate in my climate and pests don't bother it.  It has a very strong fragrance reminiscent of chocolate.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bulbophyllum scaberulum (Rolfe) Bolus 1889, the flowers are tiny, intricate gems.

This orchid is an African Bulbophyllym of the section megaclinium.  I brought it some years ago.  It had a few small pseudobulbs and was mounted in cork.  I tied the cork plaque to a wire basket full of bark and allowed the plant to roam free.  I grew it shady with frequent watering and fertilizer.  The flower grew well and spread over the basket but failed to bloom.  This year I noted that the plant had plenty of adult sized pseudobulbs so it should have bloomed some time ago.  My rule of thumb is that if a plant is not blooming the first thing to check it to see if it is getting enough light.  I moved it to a brighter part of the shade house, only a short distance away from where it was growing.  In weeks the inflorescences started appearing.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Will the real Arachnis flos-aeris (L.) Rchb. f. 1886, please stand up?

The real Arachnis flos aeris

In Puerto Rico, Arachnis plants are common in gardens, whoever almost all are hybrids.  The most common of which is Arachnis Maggie Oei "Yellow Ribbon".  Slightly less common is the clone Maggie Oei "Red Ribbon".  There are other clones of this hybrid but they are much more rare, one that is particularly beautiful is "Maroon".  The species itself is quite rare and few people grow it.  An image search on the Internet will yield many photos of Maggie Oei identified as the species.  Maggie Oei is a hybrid of two Arachnis species.

I was visiting a friend in the town of lares when I noticed that some of its plants were subtly different from Maggie Oei, the leaves were longer and slightly curled.  It turned out that the plants were Arachnis flos aeris.  The flowers of flos aeris are quite similar to that of the hybrids that were produced with it but the petals are more hooked and the dorsal petal produces a musky odor, one old name for the species was A, moschifera.
Arachnis Maggie Oei "Red Ribbon"

Paphiopdilum Lady Isabel "US Botanical Garden" AM/AOS, CCM/AOS, photographed at the Conservatory, in Washington DC, US, in 2004.