Thursday, January 6, 2011

Progress to date and some new challenges

The New Year got off to a sweltering start here in Cape Town with temperatures exceeding 40 Degrees Celsius on the farm over the last few days. The heat wave was particularly stressful on my parent plants in the greenhouse but I managed to cool them down by converting the greenhouse roof into a make-shift wet-wall which brought the temperature to a more respectable 31. I lost a few blooms and some seed pods but otherwise all seem to be happy now. Inside the house the incubator also battled  with temperatures exceeding 30 but the protocorms and plantlets didnt seem to be phased at all.

I gratefully received some seeds from Olivia in Spain ( and am keeping a close eye on their progress. So far the Myrmecophila tibicinis seeds look like they are getting ready to germinate on P6668 half strength supplemented with sucrose.

I have included a few images below of the progress of some of the protocorms and clones to date. Looking back at some older images I realise just how fast they grow but it never appears that way when you watch them daily!

Phalaenopsis amabilis clone

Phalaenopsis hybrid clones (own recipe)

Stenoglottis fimbriata protocorms

Dendrobium delicatum protocorms

Eulophia speciosa protocorms
I recently did some re-plating of the Dendrobium delicatum (D. kingianum x D. speciosum) and D. kingianum x D. delicatum and this I must admit gets rather tricky. The problem I discovered was the increase in contamination rate because of the time taken during transfer but also the width of the neck of the re-plate tubs and flasks allowing for a higher potential for aerial contamination. So far so good though and I am handing over some Dendrobe babies to my friend who supplied me with the seeds today. The re-plate tubs I used are normal food-grade polypropylene tubs (250 - 500ml) with matching lids which are pretty cheap and can withstand autoclaving temperatures (do not exceed 130 Degreec Celsius!). I found that the larger ones (500ml) tend to implode as they cool down as the pressure inside drops but this can be avoided by leaving them to cool in the autoclave (pressure cooker) for a few hours or overnight before removing them. I drilled some holes in the lids and covered these with adhesive burn-film that is gas permeable and it can also withstand autoclaving.

I received some new plants just a few days ago from the Limpopo province from a colleague. These include Bulbophyllum scaberulum, Disperis lindleyana and possibly also what looks like Acampe sp. Apart from the link to some info on D. lindleyana, I have included an image below of the flowers of the plant given to me. It is a most interesting shape.

Disperis lindleyana flowers

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