BP SPECIES NEWSLETTER November 2001
Photos in this issue: Above Habenaria species Mexico. Paraphalaenopsis laycockii, Nervilia discolor, Laelia millerii, Sophronitis brevipedunculata.
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A. What's New in flask.
Habenaria species Mexico. This is so far unidentified, any suggestions would be welcome (photo above). A subterranean tuber, with a tall leafy stem, this requires a rich soil leafmould media in a well drained pot. Deciduous in winter, a repot each spring is of benefit. Maximum sunlight, short of leaf burn, and a warm spot in the orchid house.
A robust growing species that needs a shallow pot/basket or a piece of treefern. A media that will hold some moisture or well watered treefern and maximum sunlight is needed. The flowers are a soft pink, quite large, being the largest flowered species of the genus. A warm grower, must be well drained as it is intolerant of wet conditions.
Trichoglottis ionosma "Formosa". This is an upright growing species that needs a shallow pot or basket. As it does not climb, it is easily managed and will develop into a clump with many branched spikes of yellow marked pale to dark brown flowers, fragrant. A warm to intermediate grower, lots of sulight.
B. What's ready to replate NOW.
Cochleanthes lehmanii. This is a soft foliage large fan like plant.The flowers are large and spectacular. Best grown in a small pot with spaghnam moss, it requires good shade and a cool to intermediate climate in the orchid house.
In warmer climates, some extra shade can protect the plant during the hotter part of the year.
Phragmipedium lindenii "Bergold". This is seed from the collection of Gernot Bergold, Venezuela. Tall spike of large green flowers with redbrown veins. A pot with a spaghnam moss type media that will retain moisture is required,as these plants do not like to dry out. When plants are well established, extra sunlight can be of benefit.
Catasetum macrocarpum. This is a Brazilian species with a helmet like labellum, the flowers are green yellow spotted red, the large lip fleshy, yellow. A fragrant species, warm to intermediate but also adaptable to cooler areas because the
plants are dormant during winter and can be removed from the orchid house. In Spring and with warmer weather, plants should be repotted and placed back into the growing area.
Cattleya gaskelliana alba x self. This is a large flowered labiate cattleya with flowers to six inches across (15cm). Best
grown in a shallow pot in an open media that allows good drainage. Intermediate grower from Brazil.
C. What's new in Plants.
Jumellia comorense. A small warm to intermediate growing species that does well in a small basket, well crocked, in a mixture of shredded spaghnam moss and isolite. The very elegant pure white fragrant flowers have a long curved spur. A little extra shade is of benefit, with maximum air movement as these Angraecoids do not like stale conditions. Currently plants are flowering in 80 mm basket pots.
Catasetum expansum and Catasetum laminatum. Established advanced seedlings are growing robustly in 50/50 spagh/isolite mix in 80mm slotted pots and basket pots. Deciduous in winter, the plants should be removed from the orchid house and allowed to dry out. In spring, when new shoots appear, a repot into a rich media will ensure large pseudobulbs and flowers. A liberal dose of manure promotes a robust plant.
C. expansum has huge ivory to cream flowers, C. laminatum has cream yellow flowers spotted and marked red, with a most unusual labellum
Bulbophyllum othonis. A Philippino species that produces masses of cream upside down daisy like flower umbels. Very prolific flowerer, the plants do best in a shallow tray or a large treefern slab with extra water. Currently growing in both bark and spaghnam mixs, each with shredded isolite. A little extra shade until the plants establish, then lots of sunlight will produce a plant with green purple leaves and bulbs and lots of cream flowers. A warm to intermediate grower.
Nervilia discolor (above right- flower and leaf). Now is the time to ship this terrestrial, while the tubers are starting to shoot up with warmth and water. A small tuber puts up an attractive heart shaped leaf, green, flushed purple, best grown in a small pot in a leafmould rich soil media. While growing maximise water and grow in a good shady spot as it is a dweller of the edges of rainforest in heavy shade.
Got a southern or northern window that could do with a new view??
The secret to growing orchids is to provide light and humidity and grow plants in a media that will stay damp but not wet. Extra light can be provided with the natural daylight fluorescent tubes that are readily available.
So, a stand or table top, placed near the window, will provide the base for a windowsill collection. Next item is a tray in which to put 2 inches of wet sand or small pebbles. This will provide the humidity and will stay wet as it collects the water used to
water the plants.
Cat litter trays are ideal, minus the cat.
A cover can be used, easily made from plastic. Shape is of little importance, an igloo, tent or more elaborate mini planthouse is sufficient. A fluoro, daylight type, can be suspended above the plants. Discarded fish tank/aquariums are also ideal.
Now, what to grow? By the nature of the position, it is wise to carefully consider the size of plants to be grown. A six foot grammatophyllum is impressive, but rather limits the number of plants that can be grown in a small area.
Jewel orchids are ideal subjects, they are compact growers, attractive even when not in flower, and in the cooler months tend to be somewhat dormant. Haemaria discolor and its varieties, Anoectochilus, Macodes, Dossinia, Goodyera all offer this advantage and are reasonably easily grown in a small shallow pot.
A media that works well for these is spaghnam moss mixed with shredded isolite, a pot well crocked, and with the pot
sitting on the wet sand/pebbles, adequate humidity is supplied. Deciduous orchids such as Habenaria and Calanthe ( terrestrial, soil and leafmould media), Catasetums, Mormodes, Cycnoches ( spaghnam) also are well suited.
In winter, the pots are allowed to dry out and can be put away until Spring.
Minature orchids such as Sophronitis, some of the rock growing Laelias, Neofinetias and the equitent Oncidiums are also ideal windowsill subjects, using small pots. Small growing monopodials such as Aerangis, Sarcochilus and Holcoglossums can be mounted on small pieces of treefern or cork.
A many tiered collection can be assembled, with the smaller growers filling in the gaps.
E. Did you know ?
Flasks can be imported into most countries without the requirement for a Phytosanitary
However it is wise to check with your local Agriculture Department to see what their requirements are. Flasks are exempt from CITES, so no CITES Certificates are required.
Small orders are often sent by air mail in padded, insulated packets. Larger orders are best sent by Air Courier who carry the
carton as a parcel and not in a Mail Bag.
Sometimes commercial quantities require a Phytosanitary Certificate.
It is with some satisfaction that recenly we have, in two shipmenst, shipped 100 species (including some South American species) in flask to a Botanical Gardens in Costa Rica. Excellent conservation with the Gardens actively propagating and conserving orchid species. Photo right, Pat Walters checking flasks prior to shipment.
Overheard at the Employment Agency...
I got a job in a photographic studio. One day I was about to take the portrait of a rather sour tongued woman when she said
"Now make sure you get my best side."
Without thinking I said, "I cannot, madame, you're sitting on it."
After I lost that job, I found another in a furniture sales shop. One day this good looking girl came in and said "What can you
show me in a double bed?"
After I lost that job......
Woman to friend as they walked past a "Men at Work" sign, "That would be right, women work all the time, men have to
Australian politics.... and orchids..
from the Townsville Daily Bulletin, October....
Prime Minister John Howard came face to face with real voters for the first time in the election campaign yesterday.
The foray went mostly to plan until his wife Jeanette caught sight of some orchids on sale from a flower seller.
But when Mrs Howard sought advice on growing orchids from a trio of local flower sellers, her husband found himself in an
argument over the Governments help for the elderly.
"I want to know how to make my orchids survive better than they do" Mrs Howard asked Ken Gould of the Pine Rivers
"Look after them" she was told, before he launched into the Prime Minister over help for pensioners.
"What are you going to do for the pensioners John? No more kicks in the bum I hope" he said.
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H. A special note on flasking orchids.
Due to the need for a filtered air vent on flasks to allow exchange of gasses, a reliable air filter medium is needed.
Non absorbant cotton wool allows gas exchange but does not absorb moisture. Thus the air filter will stay dry and prevent
the growth of fungus thru the filter, a common problem with ordinary cotton wool which gets wet, goes mouldy and allows the
mould to grow thru the filter to contaminate the flask.
Non Absorbant Cottonwool NOW AVAILABLE in 375 gram rolls, contact us NOW.