2009 Archived Messages

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January 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 February 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-28
March 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 April 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
May 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 June 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
July 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 August 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
September 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 October 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
November 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 December 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31

1—7 December

From: geoff hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: More piccys and comments.
Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2009 08:35

The yellow catt. I have two of this plant, and since they are meristems,
grown under near identical conditions, this provided − unwittingly- an
interesting experiment. Both (in 2008) were being grown in one and the same
compost which I came to think unsuitable. I repot catts when there is a
flush of new roots- with this grex that occurred after the last flowering
and at a few weeks interval between the two plants. The first one was potted
in coarse bark − my standard catt compost at that time. I then changed my
standard compost to medium bark with some added moss, and used that for the
second plant. This is the second plant , and the flowers are much better
quality than the first ; on examination I see that the first plant made a
new bulb a little shorter than the previous one, and currently has a new
growth nearly the height of the flowering bulb ( so far) whereas this better
flowered one has made a bulb an inch higher than the last, and thicker too,
and also has a new growth taller than the last bulb. My idea about
changing compost was the right one, obviously , but I am surprised at how
much difference there is in flower quality too.

Epidendrum ciliare. Orchidwiz seems to think this is the currently correct
name for this genus − remarkable − that's what it was called when I first
grew it half a lifetime ago ; gone full circle, perhaps ? . I thought I had
done well with this plant, and in flower count certainly I have . But
looking at some of the specimen plants shown on Orchidwiz with too many
spikes for me to count − that was chastening !. Flower shape − whether the
lateral petals are straight out making a flat flower, or curled to any
degree, seems very variable. So does flower colour- all the way from almost
mid-brown to near white . Now I see why my plant was marked lowly on the
competitive table ; if you insist on flat flowers, it's a poor one, and far
better exist . But an artificial standard, surely, in view of the range of
flowers in the wild ? Or is this special pleading by me ?

Madge Fordyce looks as though it will be nice on a decent plant. It is a
catt' I have had for a long time ; one I nearly killed with my pre-2008
culture ( too wet for the available light/heat) and now starting to make a
recovery. By the way Andy, if you are reading this − I have now realised why
hydroponics did not work here, but did when I was in the Cotswolds ; in the
same greenhouse etc . Up there, the greenhouse stood effectively in the
middle of a field. Down here, I have a 10 foot high hedge on one side, and a
tall trellis covered with wisteria/clematis/honeysuckle etc, on the other
side, and full light only overhead. So with that much water, there was not
enough light ; it can be OK in conventional culture, because then the water
is adjusted to the light , but not in hydroponics. Now that I am using
supplementary lighting it should work again − and I am making a trial with a
couple of dozen plants to see if that is right .

Pimchai Beauty ( Chindavat x another Thai name which I can't remember -
something like Sukeseewat) obviously has a lot of Sanderiana influence in
its colouring, and perhaps the image shown is not quite right for the
colour − it's really that lovely colour which you get if you have made your
own strawberry ice-cream ; the recipe is 1lb strawberries, 1lb sugar, 1 pint
double cream., put it all in the churn and when its smooth and frozen, and
straight from the churn there is nothing like it ( taste-wise) . hey I'm
digressing......but that's the colour pink....

The Cycnoches gets better every year. Three spikes now, although number 3
won't open − I suspect − until the first two have gone over, so still room
for improvement, then.,..

I'm very proud of the Comparettia ; ( three flowers and 5 buds at the time
of photography) . It's a twig epiphyte I believe . I now find it very easy,
by spraying it with rain water every day ; makes up for the several plants I
have bought and lost over the past many years trying to grow them in pots
and water once a week or whatever. Quite decent sized flowers too − the lip
maybe 3 to 4 cm across. I have another Comparettia species in bud too -
perhaps it is the pink one which I have seen in shows in southern USA were
the lip can be twice that size. I'll see,

The Paph needs no comment. If you can appreciate a perfect paph flower
you'll love it. Some people hate them. Don't know why.

Macradenia ; as I have said before (probably) I have this sub-species or
variety ( depends on your taxonomist I expect) and also the type species,
which is vastly bigger in all respects − flowers, spike length, bulb size,
leaf size etc. Two different species in my non- (taxonomic)- expert opinion.
More spikes than before, this year, but culture not quite as it should be -
don't know why , but the leaves are not a good clear green, more mottled.
Could it be virused ?

The bulbo' is a first flowering for me. A nice flower, but only one.
Obviously its the kind or section of the genus which does this, but it could
be a bit more free with it's single flowered scapes. But its a start.

Let me know what you think about any of this.



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