Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Orchids of Late Spring

Here is the inaugural flowering of Pahpiopedilum violascens.  I purchased this plant about 2-3 years ago and growth has been abysmally slow, but the wait has been worth it.  According to Phillip Cribb's monograph of the genus, this obscure species hails from New Guinea and some of the surrounding islands; it is considered to be quite rare.  It also appears to be somewhat recalcitrant in cultivation, but this clone came from a select breeding line that took years of hard work and patience to develop.

Here is a shot (albeit somewhat blurry) of the entire plant growing in a 2.25" diameter container.  The foliage is pleasing variegated.  This is a good this as the plant will not likely flower again for several years.  Such is life when it comes to Paphiopedilum species.  

Here is one of the first flowers of Phragmipedium Fritz Schomburg.  This cross between the very recently described an highly desirable Phragmipedium kovachii and Phragmipedium besseae is stunning.  The flowers resemble a very large version of the latter.  I am growing a few of the P. kovachii hybrids and this is the first to flower.  I have found P. besseae and related species to be rapid growers that flower quickly and repeatedly once they obtain the right size.

A stalwart of collection is Angraecum didieri.  This plant produces flowers in spurts throughout the year.  At dusk and throughout the night the flowers are exceedingly fragrant.  The fragrance is sweet, but has an undertone of raw hot dogs.  Yeah, that's right, hot dogs.  

Here is Dendrobium lawesii.  The flowers last for moths and the canes can produce flowers for up to 10 years after the foliage senesces.  I include this species and it's many variants among my favorite of all plants.

Perhaps I have saved the best for last.  This is a recent acquisition from a friend and long time Vanilla species collector.  Vanilla palmarum is native in several countries of northern South America.  It is also very appropriately named; this species grows only in the crowns of a few species of palms.  Here are few views of what appears to be an open flower.  There are a couple of more buds yet to open which I will continue to study closely.

1 comment:

  1. HOT DOGS?? I will have to investigate this plant out a little more closely.