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2011 Archived Messages


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MONTHDATEDATEDATEDATEMONTHDATEDATEDATEDATE
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

January 22—31


From: francis quesada pallares
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 07:50

Hi,

As a Science teacher in a secondary school, we still have to teach children that the definition of a species is that of two mating pairs that produce fertile offspring. As you clearly say, that is not a very practical definition, at least not for plants.

Incidentally, whilst doing my science degree, I did learn about variation and (I can't recall what it was called), but the fact that there might be a series of variations and intermediate steps between two species evolved from a common ancestor. Variation might have evolved due to chance genetic mutations or because the groups are geographically isolated. The thing is, close varieties would be able to produce fertile offspring, but those varieties that are further away from each other (on the chain of varietions) would not be able to reproduce at all... So maybe all orchids are just the same, but are at different variation stages? I like that idea... Try to explain to a taxonomist that a Paph and a Vanda are actually varieties of the same species!

Anyway, I don't know if this helps with the discussion or throws even more darkness onto it, but that is my two pence worth of (non)-knowledge.

Regards,

Francis

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba − species − and an answer to Mats 'just kidding'
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 10:55

Hi Mats,

How to define species? You have pretty-well already done that when you suggest that interbreeding to produce viable interbreeding offspring are of the same species. However, there are several aspects we must remember;
1. because it isn t practicable to test every queried species with the interbreeding test it has been the practise to use physical similarity or the morphospecies . In other words, if two organisms look the same, then they are of the same species unless some subtle distinction emerges that invalidates that assumption. There are certainly cases of lookalikes that are different species but, by and large, the morphospecies works.

2. As I am sure you know, it is now possible to list the entire genetic makeup of many species of both animals and plants, but then, the question of potential interbreeding needs interpretation from the genetics and that is beyond my out-dated expertise. At least, genetics gives us a quantitative measure of difference if only we could apply it simply.

3. Another problem (that I I have never been able to get an answer to) is What is a (singular) character and how is it distinguished from a bundle of characteristics that could be described as a single feature ? Certainly, modern taxonomists have come a long way in establishing closeness or distance between species based of numbers of characters different (clades) which provide quantitative methods of assessing difference but my ignorance of what a character is still troubles me.

4. One problem that doesn t trouble biologists too much is the fact that since taxonomic procedures were formalised, we have become more aware of the changes that take place over the history of the evolution of species. Just take the simple concept of a tree of life; the present-day tips of the branches provide a model of present-day species diversity. Every branch-tip being different (in this concept). However, each branch can be traced back to its confluence with an adjacent branch, before which, the two present branches were the same one!

5. Point 4 raises the basic principle of speciation . The development of a new species that, over time, will diverge from its ancestors to the point where (we presume) it could not interbreed. In this connection, one might ask how (if!) we know that apparently similar species could interbreed (theoretically) many generations back down the line!

6. You mention palaeontology. Species have always been a problem there unless one is completely satisfied with the morphospecies. We have nothing else! Palaeontologists have tried to be rational by collecting statistical samples and using various tests to evaluate the chances of closely similar groups being simple variants due to sampling but in fact, there is greater possibility in palaeontology of obtaining forms from higher or lower strata (earlier or later timewise). As geologists, we are well aware that the changes in species over time happens. In fact, we use the different but consistently variable fossils to compare strata and work out which beds of rock are time-equivalent to others! Ordovician and Jurassic strata are classics of zonation by fossils

6. In my small palaeontological taxonomic experiences I discovered numerous examples where 19C geologists had classified juveniles of a species as distinct from mature ones! By collecting the range from smallest to largest one could trace the ontogenetic variations. For example, if you think about it, a human baby isn t just a small-scale model of an adult but has many proportional differences! One or two of us may have noticed that there are sexual distinctions within species. In fossils, morphological distinctions between sexes have famously been thought to be species differences! Another problem in palaeontology is the fact that we (usually) can t just go out and collect more for a sample that is meaningful. Take that famous fossil bee with orchid pollinia; so far, it is a unique specimen. If only we could find similar specimens going way back to the beginning of bees and orchids! As it is, we have to recognise it as yet another scrap of incontrovertible evidence from a time we could only surmise about previously.

7. Taxonomy is a human activity. Species represent differences we define in the knowledge that they are variants in space and time. We live during a very geologically short frozen moment (like a time-lapse camera frame) in an active complex of rapid and slow variation in the whole spectrum of life forms we call species. All present species are in two of the three dimensions (time is excluded) of which they are a part.

When all these factors are taken into account, it would be surprising if hard and fast lines of demarcation could be drawn between each species and its neighbour. Degrees of blurring of boundaries may well indicate a stages in speciation. Once we start clumping closely similar forms into genera and then argue about what belongs in which genus . . then someone invents Orchid Talk!

Of course, sorting out this big mess is often a case of three steps forward, two steps back and, in the process, changes of mind and attitudes render new knowledge tentative until shown to be valid. We shouldn t be surprised at changes in names, irritating and inconvenient though they might be to to us all and especially to those who simply wish to know the name of this species !

I think, like Paul, this philosophical stuff should be curtailed on the OT forum (unless I am advised differently) but I am happy to carry on any private discussion within my decaying expertise with any OT member.

I am a firm believer in the mutual sharing of ignorance − we all learn that way if only by angering the learned into action!
Hope this is of some use.
John

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 11:25

Hi Francis,
Having written far too long an encyclopaedia to Mats (!) I must control myself. However, what you write raises yet another important point in the whole saga;

For convenience, taxonomists recognise species and they are (I think) the only theoretically objectively definable group (taxon). The gathering together of species into genera and then genera into families (not to mention other divisions in orchids!) is a far less objective exercise. I wonder if the species members of the genus Vanda are genetically as close, or closer to each other as are (say) the various finch species are in the genus Carduelis ? (Just a thought).

Unless my taxonomy is really out-dated, I do not recall that there are any objective criteria for taxa higher than the species. I suppose it would not be very practical, but I don t think there is a taxonomic reason why all 20,000 30,000 orchid species couldn t/shouldn t be lumped under the genus Orchis! Now there s a thought.

Me? Devil s advocate?

2011 s looking better than 2010 after all!
Best wishes
John

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (taxonomic delights)
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 11:40

Hi again Francis,
To explain to a taxonomist how a Vanda and a Paph are mere varieties could be more difficult than putting all Paph and Vanda species in the same genus. On the other hand, evolution is one big sack of variation isn t it? Just that the effects of variation are objectively definable for species whereas the the other taxa are subjectively definable for our convenience.
After launching my last email in response to your comments, I dug up this on the genus;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxon
Wiki isn t the last word but I just couldn t resist
Cheers again
John

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Dennis Read
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Alba
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 14:20

Just to throw another pebble in the pool or spanner in the woyks Santa Barbara orchids are selling alba Cymbidyun hybrids www.sborchids.com .
Their definition is as mine -Lacking red pigmentation
Regards

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 23:35

Hi Dennis,
Controversy or not, you have indicated/demonstrated the fact that the word alba is used with reference to colours positively or not!
Thanks for that! I d call that oil on water rather than pebble in water!

In spite of Paul s opinion that the philosophy is OTT for OT it looks like the discussion won t go away. Are we being tiresome with detail or is there an interest to feed? (in your opinion as one whi, I think, opposes my views?)

At least the stuff is generating more emails and that s what the forum is all about . . isn t it?

Cheers
John

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Dennis Read
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2011 10:55

John, I believe that this discussion is good for orchids. I think there are three main groups interested in orchids.
1. Taxonomists − They are interested in thescience of the plant and use very technical terms to describe their findings. These are interpreted by traders, growers and the media to suit their own ends.
2. House plant owners ( not indoor growers) who buy a plant for a pretty flower.
3. Growers both amateur and professioal who are interested in the growing and beauty of an orchid.
This site is open to all to have their say and long may it continue. My worry is that too much sciense wil deter hobbiests from joining inand we lose the exchange of knowledge.
Regards

-------------------------------------------------------------

From:
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2011 17:25

Hi!

I think both this mailing list and the orchid knowledge benefit
from a wide area of discussions. The aim is of course not to make this
mailing list into some kind of scholar discussion but hopefully the
result of our discussion will be that we increase our knowledge as well
as give the opportunity for members with less knowledge to learn more .
I think the suggestion to continue this discussion by mail is wrong
because it would limit it to only the ones who know a bit already. There
have been a number of discussion in this mailing list that felt rather
uninterresting to me, but I think all of them belong here.

A very
short answer to one of John's question. about characters. Imagine a
group of orchids that grow on a cliff in a waterfall, let's say that the
bulbs and the leaves turn from upright to hanging because the plant want
to protect them from too much water, that's one character. If the
flowers don't turn around when they open, it could be another character
but if it's because the bulbs are growing downwards, it's not a separate
character. The change in the flowers are only usable as a character to
determine if it's a new species if it's not caused by our first
character. I hope I managed to explain it a bit.

About Alba, we still
haven't solved the original question. Is the Alba character present in a
seedplant?

/Mats

On Sun, 23 Jan 2011 10:57:59 +0000 (GMT), Dennis
Read wrote:

John, I believe that this discussion is good for
orchids. I think there are three main groups interested in orchids.
1.
Taxonomists − They are interested in thescience of the plant and use
very technical terms to describe their findings. These are interpreted
by traders, growers and the media to suit their own ends.
2. House
plant owners ( not indoor growers) who buy a plant for a pretty flower.

3. Growers both amateur and professioal who are interested in the
growing and beauty of an orchid.
This site is open to all to have their
say and long may it continue. My worry is that too much sciense wil
deter hobbiests from joining inand we lose the exchange of knowledge.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (and the cooling of science)
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2011 19:45

Hi Dennis,

In principle I agree with you. But it becomes an exercise in democracy where the majority view is carried.

I am really not trying to impose science on non-scientists and am happy to stop discussing boring (?) scientific topics if I am in a minority.
On the other hand, for some of us (maybe just me!), growing orchids without the scientific interest in the their evolution, ecology and biological roles is a hollow occupation not very far removed from the artistic craft of (dare I say?) flower arranging! ). If there are flower arrangers listening in, let me qualify my comment by saying that their skills are in artistry and aesthetics (of which I also approve and admire) whereas the skill of orchid growing is (it not?), largely, scientific! Both require experience as do most skills.

Probably the best way forward would be to wait until members ask for scientific views but it is so difficult to resist jumping in when members express (what to me are) irrational adverse views about essential parts of the science on which we all depend and, in the longer term, we all benefit from! (taxonomy would fall into this category in my book).

I know of only one enthusiast who left OT because it was deemed too trivial but maybe that referred to we taxonomist supporters! Y can t win!

A friend of mine has the National Collection of essentially microscopic orchid group. Many of them are fascinating and beautiful but in the case of many, only with the aid of a hand lens. To other collector/growers, these are not worth growing because they don t produce an obvious flamboyant display.

I guess it would be a boring forum if we were all clones with the same views! However, I take the hint and will try to resist jumping in.

Thanks for the words of wisdom and concern. It is still a great forum.

Cheers
John

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (and a request to Tricia for advice on the perpetuation of science)
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 00:35

Hi Mats and Tricia (?),

I m interested to offer an opinion on this although I have to say, as in several of these points, I speak without authority, just what I would assume to be the case! In other words; food for thought based on a little knowledge (that dangerous thing!). I think that, put simply, we are getting into the area of dominant and recessive genes (or genetic effects) here and I can make suggestions about the implications involved that might focus my mind and draw in some other members with genetics knowledge...

However, maybe, before boring the non scientist OT fraternity, (yet again?) I/we should ask Tricia for an opinion. Tricia, is the topic out of hand or are we using the forum legitimately for what is intended? I have to say, I have learned a lot about topics I haven t properly thought about before . . and, I guess, Mats is in the same position although ,apparently, we both would like to try to argue it through, if it is at the expense of frightening folks away from the forum then I m sure we d both desist and maybe conduct a private discussion. Clearly, Paul has similar anxieties and has already withdrawn from these deep philosophical issues..

If it is in order to ask you, what do you think or what guidance can you offer Tricia?
John

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Tricia Garner
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (and a request to Tricia for advice on the perpetuation of science)
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 10:55

Hi John,

My initial reaction was, "Gee, thanks" at having the ball thrown into
my court. It isn't black and white − after all, I have said more than
once that I wouldn't like this list to turn into one of those where
most of the mail is people cooing over pictures one of them has sent
in; you know the sort of thing, one-liners saying, "Oh, that's
gorgeous" and contributing nothing except possibly stroking the ego
of the owner of the plant :-) I'm pleased that the members of this
group seem to have mastered the art of appreciating photos in a much
more constructive fashion, so it follows there are likely to be some
pretty deep discussions on other topics from time to time.

I do know some of the members have lost interest in the current
discussion, but hope no one is planning to leave because of it! In an
ideal world it would be useful if there was another, less esoteric
thread running as well so that there would be something to
(hopefully) interest everyone. We do have a significant number of
'lurkers' on the list and for all I know most of them could be
fascinated by the current thread...

If no one manages to come up with something else fairly soon then it
would probably be best to take the discussion off-list, but I hope
that doesn't become necessary.

--

Tricia

Veni, vidi, velcro: I came, I saw, I stuck around

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Dennis Read
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Looking for
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 11:05

On this issue of Orchid Digest its front cover is an orchid I have never seen before.
They name it as Brassavola David Sander ( I guess it should now be Rhyncovola) . Does anyone know where I can buy this in Europe? It was registered back in 1938 by Sanders of St. ALBAns.
Any help would be appreciated.
Regards

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: jeff parkes
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (and a request to Tricia for advice on the perpetuation of science)
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 11:45

Hi Tricia
As a lurker I enjoy reading the postings and if any get too boring , its easy to move on to the next.
On any topic its nice to view differing points of view and eventually posters will have little more to say on any topic...
We lurkers soon learn who has "pet themes" CITES, SHOW RULES etc etc.. all good reading. Wish one could see who had a sly grin as they posted!
Jeff

-------------------------------------------------------------

From:
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (and a request to Tricia for advice on the perpetuation of science)
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 12:05

Hi!
I'm one of the lurkers. To me this mailing list is one of the better, I
like the level and the tone. Too often mailing lists/forums ends up with
pretty unkind comments and people leave because of the treatment. Here
it's civilised with a lot of people with quite a good knowledge and a
good spread of subjects. It's enjoyable just to read the mail and then
sometimes there are a subject that you feel you have to discuss. I think
I'm in quite deep water in this discussion about alba, but the
discussion is very educating and I sincerely hope we won't scare anyone
away from this list.

Tricia, I like your statement about "Oh, that's gorgeous", the ego
disease is too common in most forums.

Maybe I could start a new thread myself:
I have a problem with two Cymbidium species (I don't have the names
here) that is out of sync. They seem to aim for blossoming in April. How
do you treat a Cymbidium to get it back in sync?
/Mats

-------------------------------------------------------------

From:
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Looking for
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 12:10

Hi!

If you hurry up, look at
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ORCHID-SPECIES-Brassavola-David-Sander-/320646130523?ptUK_HomeGarden_Garden_PlantsSeedsBulbs_JN
in the next 30 minutes.

/Mats

On Mon, 24 Jan 2011 11:09:38 +0000
(GMT), Dennis Read wrote:

On this issue of Orchid Digest its front
cover is an orchid I have never seen before.
They name it as Brassavola
David Sander ( I guess it should now be Rhyncovola) . Does anyone know
where I can buy this in Europe? It was registered back in 1938 by
Sanders of St. ALBAns.
Any help would be appreciated.
Regards

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (and a request to Tricia for advice on the perpetuation of science)
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 13:05

Hi Tricia,
I think it's called diplomacy, isn't it?

I really wasn't intending to "throw the ball into your court" so much as
looking to you for an overall view of attitudes and the general balance of
things. Trouble is, every time one of us thinks the topic has expired
another aspect is raised. My conscience was being pricked and I'd
more-or-less decided we'd reached the sell-by date if not the use-by date.

Thanks for the implied guidance.
John

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba − or − 'Let there be white' (ending the albinism issue?)
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 16:20

Hi Jeff,
Thanks for the tolerant attitude expressed and for the very logical view
that amounts to; if the labelled subject is of no interest, then the simple
thing to do is use the 'delete' button. After all, we don't spend all day
reading SPAM before we delete it . . do we?

Now Mats,
Mainly to comment on Mats query, I'm thinking aloud here;
Here in Cheshire, we have about six male blackbird visitors. Two of them
have degrees of the albino condition. One (see attached L&R side views) with
a white patch either side of its head, the other with a single white tail
feather. From observation over a decade-plus, we have had partially albino
blackbirds nesting here. They seem to have descended from a part-albino
blackbird that nested here on three or four occasions years before my
retirement.

In other words, the partial condition must have been successfully passed on
and each bird has had it since hatching. Assuming albinism is a recessive
trait (I avoid the use of the term 'recessive gene') I suspect this
indicates a degree of inbreeding in a local population in a garden where
there is really is such a thing as 'a free lunch'. Neither bird seems to be
at a disadvantage. Both are males which seem as defensive of their small
territory as their non-albino relations and it would be no surprise to me if
we saw new part-albino ones in 2011.

Thus, by observation, this condition can and must be transferred via the
parental chromosomes through generations via the egg. I suspect this is a
well known phenomenon but whether or not it is equivalent to orchids and
their seeds . . . . . . . but seems to support albinic seeds ?

To leap from blackbirds to orchids may not be justified and someone will
correct me if I assume that plants with the albinism condition can have
degrees of it too. However, since albinism (to my knowledge) is considered
genetically recessive, then both parents presumably contribute to the
condition. If the 'albinic' condition is not immediately detrimental to the
plant I don't see why the orchid seed shouldn't germinate, although
detrimental effects may affect the plant or the functioning of the flower by
maturity (bees-colour-recognition-UV-etc.)

Going back to our (Mats and mine) probable confusion over the derivative
name of the plant versus the condition-albinism, I suspects 'albinic' plants
could be bred if they could be selected and fertilised but not all the seeds
would be likely to be of the albinic condition. Albino orchids can be
meristem propogated to render them commercial (or are they just white?) Does
this help? Or can anyone else put me on the correct track?

As I have said before, like Fawlty Towers' Manuel, "I know n-O-thing" and,
like one of Tricia's end-notes, "I think, therefore I am uncertain."
I don't often quote Einstein but I recently noticed his very apt; "If we
knew what we were doing then it wouldn't be research" !

ps; interesting websites
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laelia
http://www.bryantsorchids.com/Cymbidium_page-3.htm − more usage than
explanation
http://www.albiflora.eu/science.html − the only site 've found which raises
this important topic, quoted below;
"Some people describe this individual genetic specialty as albinism: Thus, a
plant whose flowers are devoid of any red pigmentation is colloquially
termed an albino − these flowers may be light green, yellowish, or white.
But in a strict biological sense, an albino is a plant which lacks
chlorophyll: Thus, albinism is the complete absence of green pigment that
would normally be present. Since most of the orchids presented here have
green foliage leaves, they are not albinos, but albiflora forms. Sometimes
the white colour dominates just a part of the flower. In other cases the
whole flower is pure white, even the pollinia have lost all colour. "
So there we are, now chlorophyll and albiflora are terms to chew on! Maybe
we're not all ignoramuses at all! Real expertise seems to be as rare as
albino orchids! Maybe it's all to do with wrong use of terms again.

John

Jeff Parkes wrote Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (and a request to Tricia for advice on the perpetuation of science)

Hi Tricia
As a lurker I enjoy reading the postings and if any get too boring , its
easy to move on to the next.
On any topic its nice to view differing points of view and eventually
posters will have little more to say on any topic...
We lurkers soon learn who has "pet themes" CITES, SHOW RULES etc etc.. all
good reading. Wish one could see who had a sly grin as they posted!
Jeff

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: David Martin
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (and a request to Tricia for advice on the perpetuation of science)
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 17:00

Hello Mats,
I grow species Cymbidiums and find that insigne and lowianum are late
flowerers. Some years lowianum is still not open by The Chelsea Flower Show.
I think I keep the flower spikes on too long before cutting them off. As
they can easily last 6 weeks in perfect condition, maybe they need cutting
off and putting in a vase earlier. Lowianum always starts strong growths
before the flowers finish but insigne never starts new growths until the
flowers are removed. I left the flowers on too long last year and haven't
got any spikes this year. To be more specific that's insigne subsp
seidenfadenii, not insigne subsp insigne which seems to start growing new
growths before the flowers are finished.
David

Mats Linde wrote Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (and a request to Tricia for advice on the perpetuation of science)

Hi!

[Snip]

Maybe I could start a new thread myself:
I have a problem with two Cymbidium species (I don't have the names
here) that is out of sync. They seem to aim for blossoming in April. How
do you treat a Cymbidium to get it back in sync?
/Mats

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Peter Fowler
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (and a request to Tricia for advice on the perpetuation of science)
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 17:45

Tricia. First question is where do you get you one liners from at the end
of your mail. Most of them are pretty good and funny.
Can I put my thoughts about the 'alba' question. We have a very good mix of
people on the list and I enjoy it more than the Orchid Digest? ,if it is
still going.
Out of interest my only AM-CCC/RHS was an alba variety of Bifrenaria
harrisoniae alba 'Susan' . It had 32 flowers on it and had a lovely
fragrance. But that was a long time ago.
I have known people who have selfed Cattleya alba plants and ended up with
all coloured progeny. eg Cattleya skinneri alba x self ---> all colored.
As I have said before I am getting back into growing cool growing orchids
eg. Pleione and Cyps. My main interest is in Cyclamen plants. They can all
be grown at about 2-----3degC minimim. Of course some of the Cyclamen do
not mind a bit of frost. years ago I selfed a flower from Cyclamen coum
alba. A few are flowering now and are a mixture of alba & pinks. Sorry to
go off the 'orchid' course.
I had Cattleya guttata alba and that was not all white. Green and white if I
remember.
I now have 5 different types of Neofinetia falcata, growing indoors. They
grow in a tray on a south facing window and are brought in at night and put
on the floor. The oldest one I have , I have been growing indoors for about
5 years now. This was the only plant I kept when I sold all my orchids.
Just too expensive to heat the greenhouse & I had to retire early because of
health problems, brought on by too much sport when I was younger!! Boxing,
squash and running and jumping ,all at county level.
Lastly can I say I love looking at members plants/flowers. Keep them coming
in!
Good growing,

Peter F., Alton
ps. I have just bought a book full of Neofietia falcata varieties. All
pictures; in English and Japanese. Oh dear just ordered another one. How did
that happen.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Peter Fowler
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Bifrenaria harrisoniae 'Susan' AM -CCC /RHS pictures from gardens photos on webshots
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 17:55

http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/1215439687061384817zQlOrv
Found a picture of my awarded plant.
Peter F. Alton

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Tricia Garner
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: Tag lines − for Peter F.
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2011 17:00

Hi Peter,

I got most of my tag lines (the one-liners) from an acquaintance who
is sadly no longer with us, but whenever I see a new one that I like
I add it to the list. My email programs are configured to add a
random tag line to each message − usually just a case of putting the
text file in the appropriate directory and selecting the 'random'
option, although Apple Mail is a bit more tedious in that you have to
create a new signature for each one and then tell it to use them
randomly. If you would like the text file I can send it to you.

Regards,

Peter Fowler wrote:

> Tricia. First question is where do you get you one liners from at
> the end of your mail. Most of them are pretty good and funny.

[Snip]

--

Tricia

How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Peter Fowler
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: Tag lines − for Peter F.
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2011 22:50

Thanks Tricia . The text file would be great.
Thank you
Peter

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Tim Fulcher
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Slightly off topic but species and taxonomy..
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2011 12:00

John,

I'll (more or less) address some of the comments as I find this of
interest, although I could have equally replied to Mats. Sorry about
delurking Tricia :-D and adding to the confusion! Anyone else, please
feel free to ignore this although I'll try to be brief!

I'm not even going into 1, but suggest you look at this:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?idasexual-lizards as a
starting point for adding confusion to the definition of a species
...I bring this up, to get vaguely back on forum, as a number of
Cynorkis species appear to happily self-pollinate (for example the g/h
weed C. fastigiata, also see: Elevational gradients of species
diversity, breeding system and floral traits of orchid species on
Reunion Island: Hans Jacquemyn, Claire Micheneau, David L. Roberts and
Thierry Paillers). So this means the off-spring, lizards or Cynorkis,
are clonal, thus each clonal group could be classed as a species since
they don't breed with each other...

2. This at present is severely limited, whilst the concept of (as is
currently underway) sequencing massive genomes such as Fritillaria is
only just starting, the computing and manpower required is pushing our
knowledge and abilities to the limit.

3. You really don't want to get into a discussion on characters!
Suffice it to say that one of the problems with "traditional" taxonomy
is that each researcher can have a different set of characters that
they regard as important and which rarely expand well to a wider group
of organisms. This even applies to molecular studies as very few DNA
regions can be used across multiple families, but at least things are
more standardised and there is a greater number of characters − each
DNA base potentially in a sequence.

4. One of the problems is the assumption that evolution equals
progress or even has an aim or direction, look at mosses, liverworts,
ferns etc, they're still evolving, but also as a group evolved before
orchids, and many may not have changed much. Does that make them
primitive? The tips of the branches can be thought of as a snap-shot
in time. In another million years there may be something different
there, or a similar organism if the habitat has remained stable.

6+7. Venter's institute, him of the human genome, sampled ocean water:
http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.0050085
and discovered (as I understand things) vast amounts of unknown
microbes. I always find it fascinating how anthropocentric
evolutionary scientists are − the closer something to us is, or the
more interesting (orchids for example) the more it's analysed for
differences and consequently minor differences are blown up into new
species. Bacteria and fungi tend to be ignored except where they
"trespass" upon our world and so often remain undifferentiated. It
doesn't help that scientists get their names associated with new
species that they describe...

Enough of this, I'm not sure this is relevant or of interest to
people, nor am I anything like as knowledgeable regarding plant
taxonomy as I would wish − never mind orchids! If something's not
clear, drop me a line, but it might be better off-list to avoid boring
people.

HTioI

Tim

john Stanley wrote Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba − species − and an answer to Mats
'just kidding'

> Hi Mats,
>
> How to define species? You have pretty-well already done that when
> you suggest that interbreeding to produce viable interbreeding
> offspring are of the same species. However, there are several aspects
> we must remember;
> 1. because it isn t practicable to test every queried species with
> the interbreeding test it has been the practise to use physical
> similarity or the morphospecies . In other words, if two organisms
> look the same, then they are of the same species unless some subtle
> distinction emerges that invalidates that assumption. There are
> certainly cases of lookalikes that are different species but, by and
> large, the morphospecies works.
>
> 2. As I am sure you know, it is now possible to list the entire
> genetic makeup of many species of both animals and plants, but then,
> the question of potential interbreeding needs interpretation from the
> genetics and that is beyond my out-dated expertise. At least,
> genetics gives us a quantitative measure of difference if only we
> could apply it simply.
>
> 3. Another problem (that I I have never been able to get an answer
> to) is What is a (singular) character and how is it distinguished
> from a bundle of characteristics that could be described as a single
> feature ? Certainly, modern taxonomists have come a long way in
> establishing closeness or distance between species based of numbers
> of characters different (clades) which provide quantitative methods
> of assessing difference but my ignorance of what a character is still
> troubles me.
>
> 4. One problem that doesn t trouble biologists too much is the fact
> that since taxonomic procedures were formalised, we have become more
> aware of the changes that take place over the history of the
> evolution of species. Just take the simple concept of a tree of life;
> the present-day tips of the branches provide a model of present-day
> species diversity. Every branch-tip being different (in this
> concept). However, each branch can be traced back to its confluence
> with an adjacent branch, before which, the two present branches were
> the same one!
>
> 5. Point 4 raises the basic principle of speciation . The development
> of a new species that, over time, will diverge from its ancestors to
> the point where (we presume) it could not interbreed. In this
> connection, one might ask how (if!) we know that apparently similar
> species could interbreed (theoretically) many generations back down
> the line!
>
> 6. You mention palaeontology. Species have always been a problem
> there unless one is completely satisfied with the morphospecies. We
> have nothing else! Palaeontologists have tried to be rational by
> collecting statistical samples and using various tests to evaluate
> the chances of closely similar groups being simple variants due to
> sampling but in fact, there is greater possibility in palaeontology
> of obtaining forms from higher or lower strata (earlier or later
> timewise). As geologists, we are well aware that the changes in
> species over time happens. In fact, we use the different but
> consistently variable fossils to compare strata and work out which
> beds of rock are time-equivalent to others! Ordovician and Jurassic
> strata are classics of zonation by fossils
>
> 6. In my small palaeontological taxonomic experiences I discovered
> numerous examples where 19C geologists had classified juveniles of a
> species as distinct from mature ones! By collecting the range from
> smallest to largest one could trace the ontogenetic variations. For
> example, if you think about it, a human baby isn t just a small-scale
> model of an adult but has many proportional differences! One or two
> of us may have noticed that there are sexual distinctions within
> species. In fossils, morphological distinctions between sexes have
> famously been thought to be species differences! Another problem in
> palaeontology is the fact that we (usually) can t just go out and
> collect more for a sample that is meaningful. Take that famous fossil
> bee with orchid pollinia; so far, it is a unique specimen. If only we
> could find similar specimens going way back to the beginning of bees
> and orchids! As it is, we have to recognise it as yet another scrap
> of incontrovertible evidence from a time we could only surmise about
> previously.
>
> 7. Taxonomy is a human activity. Species represent differences we
> define in the knowledge that they are variants in space and time. We
> live during a very geologically short frozen moment (like a
> time-lapse camera frame) in an active complex of rapid and slow
> variation in the whole spectrum of life forms we call species. All
> present species are in two of the three dimensions (time is excluded)
> of which they are a part.
>
> When all these factors are taken into account, it would be surprising
> if hard and fast lines of demarcation could be drawn between each
> species and its neighbour. Degrees of blurring of boundaries may well
> indicate a stages in speciation. Once we start clumping closely
> similar forms into genera and then argue about what belongs in which
> genus . . then someone invents Orchid Talk!
>
> Of course, sorting out this big mess is often a case of three steps
> forward, two steps back and, in the process, changes of mind and
> attitudes render new knowledge tentative until shown to be valid. We
> shouldn t be surprised at changes in names, irritating and
> inconvenient though they might be to to us all and especially to
> those who simply wish to know the name of this species !
>
> I think, like Paul, this philosophical stuff should be curtailed on
> the OT forum (unless I am advised differently) but I am happy to
> carry on any private discussion within my decaying expertise with any
> OT member.
>
> I am a firm believer in the mutual sharing of ignorance − we all
> learn that way if only by angering the learned into action!
> Hope this is of some use.
> John

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Paul Johnson
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (and the cooling of science)
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2011 01:25

Good evening folks [CST North America],
Not intending to be too trivial [hi John! : )], but I thought the
attached might be of some historical curiosity, at least, given the
current discussion. An article on breeding effects with albinism in
some slippers; published almost exactly 105 years ago to the day. It
is two pages that I stumbled upon while searching the online issues of
The Gardener's Chronicle for other items. The text can be a bit
difficult to read given the lower quality of the scan, but this is the
condition of the downloaded document without subsequent editing.

For those of you interested, The Gardener's Chronicle, up through
1923, is now available at the Biodiversity Heritage Library, http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
. Many of the older orchid treatises, along with botanical and
horticultural tomes and journals can be found here, and read on-line
or downloaded in their entirety. The rate of additions to the library
is tremendous, so it is advisable to re-search their database every
few months to see if a long lost publication is added. Most
regrettably, there is not a single issue of The Orchid Review. Some
of you may be able to mutter about the reasons why the RHS still
refuses to share history with the world [frustrating, too, that the
AOS feels the same way!].

Enjoy,

paul

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Paul Johnson
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: mealie article
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2011 01:30

Before I forget, again. . .

Attached is a optimized grey-scale scan of my mealybug article in the
recent issue of Orchid Digest. If anyone wants a colour scan, or a
better quality grey-scale, just ask, but either will be much bigger
files!

paul

-------------------------------------------------------------

From:
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (and the cooling of science)
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2011 13:05

I think it's time to close the discussion about alba/albino. Thanks for
the input.

The answer to my original question seems to be that a grower couldn't
promise that a seed plant from alba parents will be an alba, but it
could be an alba.
There are no albinos among "normal" orchids, albinism means a lack of
chlorophyll.
The orchids for sale should be named white, if the guidelines in the
article from AOS in 1980 are still valid, older ones could be namned
Alba/album Hort.

I'm impressed by the knowledge in the list and Tricia isn't it
interresting that a "scientific subject resulted in a number of
delurkings?

/Mats

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Dennis Read
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Mealy bugs
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2011 16:00

Paul, I enjoyed your article on Mealy Bugs in the latest Orchid Digest publication.
Your table on effectiveness of insecticides was most enlightening. I would copy it to orchid talk but it is copyright and publishers are being very litigious? at the moment.
Mats, as us old hands know there is a wealth of knowledge on this list.and scientific argument should be allowed to run.
Regards

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Mark Macklam
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (and the cooling of science) − Library
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2011 18:05

Hello,

Have been poking about the library website and have found no end, it seems, of interesting articles.
Thanks for passing the information on to us all.

Mark Macklam

On 2011-01-27, at 6:28 PM, Paul Johnson wrote:

[snip]

> For those of you interested, The Gardener's Chronicle, up through 1923, is now available at the Biodiversity Heritage Library, http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org. Many of the older orchid treatises, along with botanical and horticultural tomes and journals can be found here, and read on-line or downloaded in their entirety. The rate of additions to the library is tremendous, so it is advisable to re-search their database every few months to see if a long lost publication is added. Most regrettably, there is not a single issue of The Orchid Review. Some of you may be able to mutter about the reasons why the RHS still refuses to share history with the world [frustrating, too, that the AOS feels the same way!].

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alba (and the cooling of science)
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2011 22:35

Hi Paul,
I guess we learn more every day . . if only the date!

When I first jumped into the albino issue, with both feet, I don't think I
was claiming expertise so much as simply suggesting answers from what I
thought I knew! I have to admit that, in the past, whenever I have heard
'experts' , or those I consider to be experts, discussing albinism in
orchids, they have seemed to be discussing abnormal whiteness in the flower
and not a total lack of pigment (chlorophyll). Chlorophyll-less plants would
have to be at least part parasitic or saprophytic, otherwise the condition
would be fatal.

Although, in other contexts, I would have imagined a lack of pigment,
including chlorophyll to be the albino condition, I have not seen it so
defined in anything I've read until in this exchange and, to be honest, had
not contemplated it. What, I guess, we learn, is that there is more
confusion and uncertainty than I imagined.

In the discussions, we have been on the fringe of a topic of a recent BBC
Horizon relating to the popular status of science (and scientists) where
non-scientists often expect a definitive answer to specific issues. (This
was initiated by the ill-informed furore over the global warming issue). I
don't think that applies in OT but it is easy to see how it can happen.

I suspect OT members have more sense than to completely 'rubbish' the
intellectual discipline that has done so much for them in various fields
but, nonetheless, there is a certain expectation that experts are likely to
be right. "Likely" is surely the operative word and when controversies
occur, which turns out correct and which not might not be expressed in terms
of chance ( . . . . at least until much further down the line.)

My reference to partial albinism in blackbirds reveals the fact that I
believe (think) that there are degrees of the condition.

Whatever we have done in this forum, either by expertise or making fools of
ourselves, has been to reveal that scientists do not discover immutable
facts rather than proceed by hypotheses and theory. In this last week's
Horizon there was an excellent presentation on "What is Reality".

I guess Tricia wouldn't thank us for getting into that one but I have to say
it shattered my perception of the old wave-v-particle (photon) theory of
light!

Thanks to everyone participating for patience and useful contributions.
Early on, I implied to Mats that it could be a case of the blind leading the
blind. Well . . . . . . political correctness aside, there may be quite a
bit of truth there.
Cheers
John

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] mealie article (thanks)
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 20:30

Hi Paul,
Many thanks for the mealie article. This is, more-or-less where I came in,
years ago, with the mistaken idea that they had a flying stage (you
corrected me on that!). However, I am still amazed that they can get from A
to B on foot and even into glass cases that have, for years, been free of
'em!

Here in the Uk, it is difficult to get alcohol other than methyl but the
damage it does seems well worth the effects on the mealies even when sprayed
neat as a fine mist! The secret seems to be not allowing it to linger on
the plant too long before rinsing it, and the bugs, off with water.

We find that a good fine (but high pressure) water blast prior to using an
alcohol trigger spray, followed by another water blast keeps them controlled
but, then, we have modest numbers. My wife claims that there is no
substitute for daily scrutiny of a kind that would be commercially
impractical or uneconomical but which works in our 16X9 (feet) greenhouse
but less well in the conservatory which has immovable high reaching plants.

We had the worst infestations on Aristolochia species which grow in our
conservatory to heights where the damned mealies aren't apparent intil the
little balls of 'cotton wool' manifest themselves when seen from ground
level.

The snag with detergents, as you imply, is that they often contain a
cocktail of stuff which can be very damaging although, once, in desperation
on some smooth succulents, I used a solution of turpentine substitute and
Fairy liquid (which gets oil off my driveway!). Followed by a rapid water
rinse it seemed to do the job but, as I guess you well know, different
plants respond differently to different anti-mealie brews.

Lastly; some years ago (1998) when in Hong Kong, I encountered the mother of
all mealies with specimens about 8-9mm long! They were on plants on the side
of the road down from the Peak to Pok Fu Lam and I could feel their
footsteps on my hand when holding them! They must ( ? ) be some of the
biggest of the group.

Anyway, thanks for educating us. A very useful paper. Thanks

Oh! It may be of interest that an electric toothbrush is great for scale, at
least on firm succulents,. Far better than for teeth!
John

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Paul Johnson
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] mealie article (thanks)
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 00:45

Hello John,
Glad to learn that the article was a tad bit helpful. Left out of the
article was a suggestion for the use of cheap drinking alcohol. The
standard liquor concentration, say for otherwise undrinkable vodka,
gin, whiskey, etc. is sufficient to kill mealies, though in the end it
is more expensive per unit than adulterated formulas.

I may have run into your Chinese mealies in the Philippines in the
late 80's. Monsters! Same plant, an ornamental fig is a restaurant,
also had the largest thrips (ca.12 mm) I have encountered.

The males do fly, or rather float, as they are very weak and cannot
fight the currents of moving air. Then, too, males are also
immaterial to dispersal and distribution capability, since they do not
lay eggs.

cheers,

paul

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: geoffrey hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: mealies
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 08:35

I'm sorry that I can't include the thread , but I've gone 'furrin (in West Africa, hoping to find Ansellia africana − but thats another story ) . I have to use this hotmail address as the systems only allow me to receive, but not send, e-mail from my usual place ( and it took me a few days of scratching head, and help from WindowsBBS forum to sort that out ).

However − mealies − and the difficulty of reaching them John (Stanley). Let me tell you about the sacrificial goat system.
You see, every pest has its favourite genus. Start with a clean greenhouse − we all do ! Then include one or two of each of the genera which are favourites for different pests ; keep them where you can see them. Now if a wandering mealy bug gets into the greenhouse, it will make a bee-line for the growing tip of Dendrobium nobile ( or one of its hybrids). 'Dubois scale ? that will home in on your cattleyas − not interested in dendrobiums ( and vice versa with mealies). The big lumpy scale that looks like a miniature sea-anemone when the tide has gone out ? Phaius , every time...Spider mite ? Any thin plicate leaved plant but once again Dend. nobile too.

Watch your collection of goats, and as soon as you see signs, take action. If you keep the Dendrobes clean of mealies, you won't find them anywhere else either and so on ...

John − you may be interested , but not others perhaps, since its off topic, that this brainwave was based on work I was involved with a hundred years ago when I was "economically active" at a time when battleships were made of metal − sacrificial anodes rusted away , whilst the ship stayed clear and clean ; not entirely a good analogy perhaps, but there you go.

But really, Mrs Stanley has the right idea ; constantly inspect every plant. I like to do it weekly , but with my collection that doesn't leave much time for anything else !

Regards to all from the slave coast,

GEOFF

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: [OrchidTalk] mealies
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 17:55

I have tried the sacrificial plant idea with broad bean plants. I have
found that they are a magnet for RSM and put a couple in between my D.
nobile. As soon as i see any mites on the broad bean it goes into the
compost heap and I plant another and it does seem to help. I do sometimes
wonder though if the mites would go elsewhere if there wasnt a bean plant
to attract them!
Regards, Alex

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] mealies
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2011 11:10

Thanks for those words of wisdom Geoff.
However, seems to me that a better idea would be to have sacrificial
plants and simply start up a collection of mealies. Paul's paper
implies that there are many interesting species out there and they
should be easy to keep in quite a small unheated space without undue
expense.
I'll bet a pound to a penny that the mealies would die off and the
sacrificial plants would become an epidemic.
It's all down to the labels we put on 'em I guess!
Have you considered that?
John

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Dennis Read
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Back to pretty pictures
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2011 15:05

I took pity on this plant being thriwn out from a local store about 6 months ago. This is the furst flower.
Any suggestions for its name?
It looks like a Miltassia and there is a chance that one of our list will recognise it.
Regatds

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Andy
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Back to pretty pictures
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2011 18:50

Hi Dennis

This is a photo of my Miltassia Dark Star. Same or very similar?

Andy

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Back to pretty pictures
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2011 21:40

Dont know the name Dennis but looks a nice plant and a lucky rescue.
Regards, Alex

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