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Culture.  Venezuela, Coryanthes: Discoveries and Discoverers, by Dr Gernot Bergold.  
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In FLASK.  Cymbidium suave, 
Dendrobium schroederianum, Promeneae paraenaense, Doritis pulcherrima chompornense Photo right.
In PLANTS.  Dendrobium mimiense, Cattleya deckerii, Dendrochilum magnum.

Ready to replate.
Paphinia cristata, Aerangis distincta, Barkeria chinense Yellow, Cattleya gaskelliana alba x self,
Cymbidium canaliculatum sparkesii, Domingoa hymenoides, Vanda sanderiana "Jacqueline" FCC x self
Culture.   Venezuela, Coryanthes: Discoveries and Discoverers, by Dr Gernot Bergold.

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Photos in this issue. Above Doritis pulcherrima var chompornense. Dendrobium schroederianum. Doctor Gernot Bergold.
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New in Flask.
Cymbidium suave. This small growing species produces spikes of clear green flowers with a darker spot in the labellum.  It is an inhabitant of hollow tree branches in open forest and thus requires maximum sunlight and air movement. It grows from warm to intermediate conditions and is native to eastern Australia.
  Dendrobium schroederianum. This very beautiful warm growing species originally from Indonesia, is the forebear of the modern Phalaenanthe Dendrobium hybrids. Best grown in a small pot or basket with lots of water and fertiliser while growing and a decided dry rest in the cooler months. AKA Dendrobium phalaenopsis var schroederianum  Photo right.
Promeneae paraenaense. A Brazilian species, one of about half a dozen yellow flowered species that are often confused and mixed in with P xanthina. Best grown in a small pot or basket in a media that will stay damp but not soggy, heavy shade and a drier rest during the cooler months. A minature species with proportionally large flowers, cool to intermediate grower.
Doritis pulcherrima chompornense. A Thailand species that grows semiterrestrially, so it is best grown in a container in a media that will drain well, with perhaps a little more light than that required by Phalaenopsis, to which it is closely related.
This is the labelloid form where the petals take on the form of the labellum.
New in Plants.
Dendrobium mimiense. Flowering size plants established on pieces of cork bark, grown under bright light in a well ventilated spot. Frequent watering in the growing season is required and a dry rest in winter. The flowers are produced in clusters along the stem, white and green. A New Guinea species very similar to Dendrobium capituliflorum.
Dendrochilum magnum  This large growing Philippines species requires a large shallow container or basket under typical Dendrobium conditions of shade and good ventilation. These are six inch pot large clumps specimens. The flowers are borne on long arching spikes and are sparkling orange to yellow orange. A warm grower, heavily fragrant.
Cattleya deckeriA species also known as Cattleya skinnerii var autumnalis as the flowers are similar but appear in autumn. The dusky rose flowers are large, sparkling textured and borne in clusters, a showy species that will develop into a specimen. Plants  are growing well in 80mm basket pots.
Ready to Replate.
Paphinia cristata    A minature grower with large showy flowers. See link for growing details.
Aerangis distincta . An African species, typically white fragrant flowers with a spur. best grown on a slab or in a small basket with excellent drainage and good shade. A dwarf angraecoid.
Barkeria chinense Yellow . This is a small growing species from Mexico with almost nodding spikes of delicate pale yellow flowers spotted red on the labellum. Does best in a small pot or basket or on a slab with extra water. In winter the plants will go dormant and should be held dry until the new leads appear.
Cattleya gaskelliana alba x self .A robust grower with large showy flowers. See link for growing details.
Cymbidium canaliculatum sparkesii. The dark maroon flowered form. See link for growing details.
Domingoa hymenoides. A dwarf drowing species somewhat like a Broughtonia. The tall spikes bear pale translucent green striped purple flowers. Best grown in a very small pot or on a slab with extra water. Intermediate grower from Cuba.
Vanda sanderiana "Jacqueline" FCC x self .The Queen  of the Vandas. Huge flowers of pale rose and darker colours. Requires a basket with an open well drained media and warm humid conditions. This is one of the original awarded clones in Australia and exhibits the true species colours and characteristics. Philippines.
  Species highlighted are links to photos.
More photos at
Culture.   Coryanthes: Discoveries and Discoverers in Venezuela
  #The history of Coryanthes research in Venezuela.   Gernot Bergold, Caracas, Jan.29,03.
( Dr Gernot Bergold passed away on 5th February 2003 at the age of 91. His unfinished notes are published here, incomplete. Photo of Gernot with a large Coryanthes plant and seed pod taken 2002.)
                      My first serious interest in Orchids begun during my  first visit to Venezuela for an invited lecture about Insect Viruses at IVIC , June to December 1957. I collected some orchids and took them back to Canada. 
        When I came back  (with the orchids) to stay in 1958 to organize the virus-research at IVIC, I made contact with  Prof.Dr. E.Foldats, professor at the Jardin Botanico in  Caracas,  a young medical Student Carlos Garcia Esquinell and other orchid enthusiasts. However the main impact was my friendship and tutors with G.C.K.Dunsterville (Stalky) an oil engineer (and president of Shell) and  his wife Nora, which lasted until Staky's death in 19    .
    We made many orchid hunts  all over Venezuela,and never, never had the  slighest argument.  Whenever I found an Orchid in flower I rushed to Stalky , who immedeately, day or night, made a perfect drawing of the live plant. He refused, absolutely correctely, to dry and press any orchid,. His work resulted in the 6 big standard, world-famous volumes "Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated" and  numerous other  publications.
     One day Carlos Esquinell  got a Coryanthes in flower in Las Calderas, rushed back to Caracas to Stalky  who drew it right away .Garay identified it wrongly as Coryanthes biflora. This was the beginning of Coryanthes research in Venezuela.
         Carlos took  me once to Calderas and we collected another Coryanthes, which was supposed to be Coryanthes maculata. At that time little was known about Coryanthes in general. The discovery by Dodson that certain bees fertilized Coryanthes in a rather complicated way  increased  the general interest.
        By the late 1960s I had collected quite a few Coryanthes, including a Coruyanthes macrantha in Trinidad in 1962. In Caldera I met Julio Laguna, who became over the years until now a dear friend who collected most of the  Coryanthes gernotii, bruchmülleri and recently C.lagunae over many years. Without him my research of Coryanthes would have been impossible.
        In 19   a student of mine had  become aquainted with Günter Gerlach, gardener at the Heidelberg Botanical Garden and they visited me. I showed them my Coryanthes slides, which impresssed Gerlach so much that he decided to continue his studies at the University.
     He choose "The Genus of Coryanthes" together with Rainer Schill as his Disertation, which was published in 1993 and became the standard book ever since, stimulating decisively the Coryanthes research.
     Gerlach visited  Venezuela often and we collected jointly in Pto.Ayacucho.There Carlos Gomez, a Bare Indian working for Malariologia, who collected orchids for many years for Gustavo Romero, helped me for years untill to date to collect Coryanthes. Without this very intelligent and cooperative friend all my research of Coryanthes would have been imposible.
           Unfortunately Gerlach's interest is mainly about the importance of bees for Coryanthes and he refuses to consider using modern biochemical, genetical , DNA, RNA analysis methods for species identification.
              In the meantime Dr.Gustavo Romero finished his study at the Cornell University and accepted a position in the south in Puerto Ayacucho and he and his very nice Swiss wife Peggy  were promised reasonable living quarters a few degree from the equator. However this promise was never kept, so they got tired of sleepng in hammocks and Gustavo decided to quit.
            So when Harvard offered a position Gustavo applied and asked me for a recommendation to the Dean of Harvard, who I already knew  from previous work with viruses. So he got the job and the dean thanked me. Gustavo seemed to be satisfied with the decision and we corresponded frequently.
       A good friend of mine for many  years, the famous Swiss photografer Karl Weidmann and Editor Armitano decided to published a book of Venezuelan Orchids. So Gustavo was asked to select about 200 fotos of the 1000s of Karls, many of them taken in my orquidario. They needed about 50 more and asked me for fotos. Having also close to 1000 I offered them  GRATIS. Gustavo selected about  40. It was verbally agreed about that as authors, Romero, Weidmann and Bergold would be mentioned. There were some difficulties in judging the colors and I offered Ermitano and Gustavo to help gratis,  but this was however not accepted.
             When the Spanish version appeared. Karl and  I were surprised that our names were not mentioned as co-authors and many colors were quite wrong, which of course could not be corrected in the English and German version, although at least Karl and I was mentioned on the cover. All this was a great disappointment for  me also that he refuses to consider---like Gerlach-- modern methods ---biochemical, genetical-DNA, RNA analysis for species identification and still not doing anything  to change this stupid drying and pressing of orchids. All communication between my previous friend Gustavo ceased which I very much regret. I wrote Gustavo a letter recently to try to make peace----but no answer.
           In the meantime several new Coryanthes  species have been found in Venezuela and in other Central and South American countries, followed by the usual, unpleasent discussions about their identifications. This is not surprising as long as the botanical authorities of the world keep using old fashoned---but easy ---methods. I have no inclination whatsoever to discuss  taxonomic questions here, but only emphasize and repeat that
      (1) drying and pressing orchid flowers is an absolute inadequate method for preservation.
      As Dunsterville has shown, drawings and color fotographas of the  L I V E  plant and flower and subsequent preservation in a proper liquid is an ABSOLUTE requirement for preservation and storage of orchids flowers. This Dunsterville told me repeatedly  and shortly before he died asked me to :promise to do anything to realize this.
     (2) All botanical institutions and commercial growers worldwide, should only be permited to collect, cultivate and display orhids if they spent at least  a third of their budget for multiplication of orchids. This should be supervised by a well trained biochemist, having the knowhow and familiar with modern genetical methods.  Any financial profit of selling seedlings should help to finance this project.
   (3) Any  de-forestation should be supervised by proper personal of botanical Institutions of the government.
(4)  No higher academic title should be be granted for any poorly--simply descriptive--- taxinomical  investigation.

           For a previous article on Coryanthes and Dr Bergold  click here.

 More photos at
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 A woman brought a very limp parrot into a veterinary surgery. As she lay her pet on the table, the vet
pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his
head sadly and said," I'm so sorry, Polly has passed away".

The distressed owner wailed, "Are you sure? I mean, you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He
might just be in a coma or something?"

The vet rolled his eyes, shrugged, turned and left the room returning a few moments later with beautiful
black Labrador.

As the bird's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the
examination table and sniffed the dead parrot from top to bottom. He then looked at the vet with sad
eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog and took it out but returned a few moments later with a cat! The cat jumped up and
also sniffed delicately at the ex-bird. The cat sat back, shook its head, meowed and ran out of
the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry; but like I said, your parrot is most definitely 100%
certifiably... dead.

He then turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill which he handed to the woman.
The parrot's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried. "$150 just to tell me my bird
is dead?!"

The vet shrugged. "If you'd taken my word for it the bill would only have been $20,
but.... what with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan..."

      Dear Milkman,
I've just had a baby, please leave another one.
Please leave an extra pint of paralysed milk.
Cancel one pint after the day after today.
Please don't leave any more milk. All they do is drink it.
Milkman, please close the gate behind you because the birds keep pecking the
tops off the milk.
Milkman, please could I have a loaf but not bread today.
Please cancel milk. I have nothing coming into the house but two sons on the dole.

Ian and Pat Walters, Burleigh Park Orchid Nursery
54 Hammond Way, Thuringowa, Australia 4815
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