Photo: Haemaria discolor var odina and alba

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A.  What's New in flask.

A small germination of the Venezuelian Phragmapedium lindenii. Two Paphs resown, glaucophyllum and spicerianum var giganteum germinating.

The Paph spicerianum giganteum is a sib cross of two large flowered plants originally imported from India as variety giganteum. The flowers are to 10 cm across, dorsal sepal white with a central crimson purple stripe, base green spotted red. Sepals greenish white, the petals yellowish green, spotted red, with a red crimson median line. the lip is brown flushed crimson.

Very amenable to culture, it grows readily in a variety of media, clumps quickly and can be grown in more sunlight with dendrobiums etc. A small deep pot, good drainage, and fertiliser while in active growth will produce a large clumped plant quickly. While it is supposed to be one of the cooler growing species, it tolerates hotter climates and will grow under cool to warm conditions. After flowering and while the plant is not in active growth, a short rest period is beneficial, at which time a little less water is needed.

Some clones tend to have a lax flower spike and benefit from staking to display the flower well. More sunlight tends to shorten the spike.
Paph glaucophyllum, another green leafed species grows  under the same conditions as P spicerianum, The progressive flowering produces showy flowers with a rosy pink pouch lip, striped and haired  twisted petals and a green edged white dorsal.

B. What's ready to replate NOW.

Two very nice Aerides are just right for replating into the 12/14 seedling mini flasks. Our flasks are small 100cc oval bottles, resting on the narrow side to produce a flask of seedlings that can be airmailed when the plants pack tight inside the flask. This shaped bottle prevents shake up of the contents, and the size makes for easy and economical airmail post internationally.

The spicy fragrant Aerides quinquevulnerum var purpureum has spikes of rich burgandy flowers, with a green tipped horn. Aerides crassifolium is a short heavy leafed species with spikes of waxy, heavy textured rose red, purple red flowers, also fragrant. Both managable sized plants, use small baskets with an open media, and lots of water and fertiliser when growing.

Sophronitis coccinea (S.grandiflora) ; brilliant reds, these seedlings have reached a good size in the mother flasks (at long last), and will make great flasks for shipping by airmail.

Cattleya blossfeldsiana; the grower in the USA describes this as a plant originally found in Peru. Thought at one time to be a natural cross Cattleya rex x Cattleya luteola, it is now considered more likely a seperate species. Whatever the correct taxa, its showy yellow fragrant flowers make this a welocme addition to any collection.

C. What's new; Haemaria alba, Bulbophyllum biflorum.

Recently potted are some plants of the very rare Ludisia (Haemaria) discolor var alba. A smaller growing form, it has basically light green leaves veined silver.

Bulbophyllum biflorum: the Borneo form, a good growing species that produces a spike of two flowers. Each flower to 10 cm long, the elongated sepals with a white swollen tip. Colours cream to white with red stripes, spots, tails white. Some clones have more red, so the flowers appear red. Does well in a basket, well drained media but likes to be damp, warm with good air movement.


A commonly grown orchid species is Ludisia (Haemaria) discolor, with two forms well established in cultivation. The variety Dawsoniana has a reddish leaf prominently veined with a copper colour, and the dark green black leaf, red underneath, centre silver stripe, is usually referred to as the type form. The flowers of both forms are identical.

Another three forms are described here.

Several years ago, we self pollinated a plant that had arisen as a seedling in the bush house, most likely from seed from a natural selfing of the var Dawsoniana. This form was identified as Schlecter's var odina, with silver veins instead of the copper veins of var Dawsoniana.

Seedlings raised from this in flask were predominently var odina, with some reverting to the type form with the single silver midrib vein. The leaf is a dark green, flushed, especially underneath, dark red. Most of the veining is silver, with the outer vein or two slightly coloured pink red.

At about the same time, we acquired a small plant of an alba form of the Ludisia. Alba in that the leaf was green with silver veining, with only a faint shadow of the normal red colouring under the leaf. This plant eventually flowered and was selfed. The seed was sown in flask but nothing germinated.

However, shortly after, a swarm of seedlings appeared in pots near to where the alba form was growing. The seed was from an uncollected seed pod on the alba form plant. Most of this swarm of seedlings developed into alba form plants, with about half of them showing a true alba condition, with leaves of clear green, veined silver, and no colouring at all under the leaf.

The third form is also a plant that arose in an orchid collection from the natural dispersal of seed of var Dawsoniana. This form is of a sturdier plant, with yellowish green leaves that have copper coloured veins in the new leaf, and lightly flushed red underneath. When the leaves mature, the veining goes to a gold colour, on a background of yellowish green. Green gold would aptly describe this form.

The flowers of all the forms were the same, white with the yellow spot. All the plants of Ludisia are grown in 85 to 90% shade, in small pots in a mixture of fine bark, shredded isolite and coconut peat, well crocked. They rest in winter and need less water at that time. When active growth begins, they like lots of water and fertiliser. The plants seem to like to hang over the side of their pot, and will develop into large clumps if allowed. One can imagine it growing in the wild as a semiterrestrial lithophyte, rooted into the rock crevices and sprawling over the rock face.

There is nothing unusual in this natural variation, it is the hallmark of all orchid species, on their evolutionary way, regardless of those who sit and ponder and infinitely dissect orchid species down to a myriad of new names. Text & photos at web page Ian Walters.

E. Web page.

Check out our web page  www.ultra.net.au/~bporchid

This is constantly under revision and you will find heaps of colour photos, articles on species in cultivation and in the wild, plus links to other interesting species orchids, and more photographs. Check out the photos of species mentioned above

F. Humour.

Doctor, Doctor.

A man, feeling very ill, goes to see his doctor and is rushed to hospital for tests. He wakes up in a private room at the hospital and the bedside phone rings.
" This is your doctor, we have had the results from your tests and you will stay here until we work out a cure."
" Oh my God, doctor! What can you do for me?"
" Well, we are going to put you on a diet of pizzas, pancakes and pitta bread."
"Will that cure me?"
"No, but its the only food we can slip under the door."

"Doctor, can you cure my cold? I'm really suffering."
"No, there is no cure, but why dont you go for a long run along the beach."
"But doctor, its raining and I'll catch pneumonia"
" Well, we've got a cure for pneumonia."

Doctor to patient, " We'll put you thru the special proceedure for this complaint, but it will cost you $12001."
Patient "Is that the cost of the medical procedure and hospital?"
Doctor " No, thats the cost of my kids next term school fees."

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Yours in orchids,

Ian and Pat Walters, Burleigh Park Orchid Nursery

54 Hammond Way, Thuringowa, Australia 4815

Email us at  bporchid@ultra.net.au