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January 05
In FLASK. Thrixspermum japonicum, Sophronitis coccinea, Phalaenopsis mannii, Oncidium torchianum, Oncidium concolor var ottonis. Photo right; Phal Mannii  
In PLANTS. Lockhartia lunifera, Diplocaulobium carysotropsis., Trichoglottis wenzellii  " Select", Vanda merrilli Compacta
Ready to replate.  Trichoglottis ionosma, Stanhopea reichenbachiana, Schomburgkia heidi, Rhyncostylis violacea, Phalaenopsis philippinense, Phalaenopsis formosana. Ornithocephalus gladiatos,.
Culture.  Sophronitis.
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New in Flask.
Thrixspermum japonicum. A  cool growing  minature species from Japan. Best grown on a small slab ot cork or treefern in a shady spot.
Sophronitis coccinea. Minature, large 5cm flowers red to scarlet.Sib cross selected clones from Brazil. Best grown in a small pot or on a piece of treefern. Dont allow this species to dry out hard, but in winter less water is needed.
Phalaenopsis mannii. An Indian species with glossy yellow, overlaid redbrown, flowers in a panicle. Best grown in a small pot or basket and is a more intermediate climate grower.
Oncidium torchianum. This is a small intermediate grower with  massed spikes of tiny flowers from Brazil. Probably best grown on a small piece of treefern or in a very small pot with well drained media.
Oncidium concolor var ottonis. A showy Brazilian species. Large concolor yellow flowers, small growing, multiflowered. var of O.concolor. A treefern slab or small pot is used.
  Highlighted  species linked to photographs and cultural notes.
New in Plants.
Lockhartia lunifera. This Brazilian species has small yellow flowers somewhat Oncid like. The plant is erect and looks like a braided ribbon, an unusual and attractive plant even when not in flower. Often mistaken for an erect tassel fern ( Lycopodium fern). The flowers are about 1.5 cm high, produced near the apex of the leafy stem. Grows well on a piece of treefern in similar conditions as that for Dendrobium and will grow into a specimen clump. Flowering size plants growing on treefern.
Diplocaulobium carysotropsis. Exquisite minature, cream flowers, yellow  lip, 2.5cm. Forms multiflowered clump. Comes from New Guinea and is a warm grower that does well on a piece of treefern or cork under dendrobium conditions.
Leptotes unicolor.Brazilian minature, terete leaf, flowers to 2.5cm, waxy pink purple. Flowering size plants growing on treefern where they will develop into specimen clumps.
Trichoglottis wenzellii  " Select"   A select clone that we have established as 3 plant clumps on treefern. Best grown in a basket with a totem pole for the plants to climb. Once over the top of the totem, the plants can be cut and started again at the base to form a clump for multiflowering.
Vanda merrilli "compacta". Flowering size plants in 75mm basket pots. This minature growing form produces a spike of 2 or 3 lacquered yellow and chinese red very fragrant flowers. A warm to intermediate grower, it will clump up into a specimen.
Highlighted  species linked to photographs and cultural notes.
Ready to Replate.
Trichoglottis ionosma. Branched spike, yellow spotted brown flowers, lip white, heart shaped. This is not the climbing type Trichoglottis, so does best in a basket or well drained pot. fragrant, long lived flowers.
Stanhopea reichenbachiana. A species from Venezuela.Warm grower, seems to be free flowering, the flowers are pure white, fragrant. As for all Stanhopeas, they require a basket where the pendulous spikes can grow thru the bottom. Many different medias are used and the species seems to grow in almost any media provided it stays damp but not wet.
Schomburgkia heidi. From Venezuela. Can anyone can provide a description ? Schomburgkias are essentially large growing bulbous species grown under the same conditions as cattleyas and Dendrobiums.
Rhyncostylis violacea, Anota violacea. Like Rhy gigantea, white, spotted purple flowers on a fairly dense spike. A warm to intermediate grower from the Philippines best grown in a small basket or well drained pot.
Phalaenopsis philippinense. A very beautiful Philippines species.White, faint blush pink, 7.5cm flowers of excellent shape on a long arching spike. A basket or well drained pot in good shade with good air movement is required. The pink colour is best seen when the flower is placed against a white background.
Phalaenopsis formosana. This is perhaps a polyploid form of P aphrodite and was one of the original species used to produce the modern white hybrids. Large overlapped petals/sepals,  pure white, to 7 cm, yellow and red marks on lip crest.
A basket or well drained pot and media with good air movment is required, and this species is very tolerant of artificial orchid house conditions, easy and robust to grow.
Ornithocephalus gladiatos. A minature from Mexico, this fan like plant produces  fantastic green white flowers. Treefern slab or very small pot is the usual method of culture for this intermediate grower, in a good shady spot.
  Species highlighted are links to photos.
More photos at
Culture.  Sophronitis.
These are the Gems of the orchid world, with their bright red to orange and yellow flowers, proportionally large, on minature growing plants.
They are basically epiphytic or lithophytic species that like a slab of treefern or a small well drained pot or basket.
Sophronitis coccinea and its synonyms (S. grandiflora and S. militaris) are variable in size and colour, with scarlet red to carmine purple and rose purple flowers. A lutino form , bright yellow, exists.
  Similar and perhaps a colour variant of  coccinea is S. rosea or wittigiana. This is the rose coloured form.
Sophronitis brevipedunculata is a more orange red flowered species, much the same in growth as coccinea.
A slightly different plant is Sophronitis cernua, which has a more flat creeping habit, and a many flowered infloresence of mostly orange flowers with a yellow labellum.
Sophronitis are grown in the Nursery on either pieces of cork or treefern fibre. Light conditions similar to that provided for Dendrobiums or even slightly more sunlight will promote flowering. Weak fertiliser is applied regularly and when the plants are not in active growth, in the cooler months, less water is given.
An intermediate climate seems preferred, and hot wet tropical weather is best handled by keeping the plants out of the torrential rain. They are fairly tolerant and also grow well in cooler climates protected from frost and cold wet conditions.
There are several other species and forms of Sophronitis, and if the basic requirements are kept in mind, these gems will grace any orchid collection with their brilliantly coloured flowers.
  More photos at
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Out Of africa.
A sign posted in an Algerian tourist camping park: "It is strictly forbidden on our camping site that people of different sex, for instance a man and a woman , live together in one tent unless they are married to each other for that purpose."
In a Namibian nightclub: "Ladies are not allowed to have children in the bar."
Quote - Unquote
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It is better to be quotable than to be honest. - Tom Stoppard
Be nice to people on your way up because you meet them on your way down. - Jimmy Durante
He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
For centuries theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing. - Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)
The only difference between me and a madman is that Im not mad. - Salvador Dali (1904-1989)
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