Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Satyrium princeps and the friendly staff at New Plant Nursery

It is so nice when you meet people that are friendly and so helpful! I recently spoke with Luise from New Plant Nursery in George and had put in an email request for any local terrestrial orchid species that they might keep or sell. I was most fortunate that she had some Satyrium princeps and some Eulophia parviflora available and she promptly organised these to be sent along with a shipment of other plants to Kirstenbosch gardens for me. All I had to do was collect them (thank you Luise!). All of the plants arrived safely and in very good condition. The S. princeps are growing rapidly and I can see a difference almost on a daily basis in the size of the leaves. The E. parviflora have nice plump pseudobulbs but they are not active now in the cold weather. The new Satyriums made me re-visit my other potted satyriums that I had planted last season. These too are coming up now.

Satyrium princeps is a beautiful plant. I am hoping that the plants that I have acquired do well with me and that they flower so I can set some seeds. I am very keen to try some seeds of this species and if I can get it right and get some seedlings through I am sure they would be snapped up be keen hobbyists and collectors. This species is found on the southern Cape and grows often on coastal dune sands and is pollinated by sunbirds. It is closely related to S. membranaceum with which it also naturally hibridizes (citation). There is a lovely paper by S. D. Johnson on the sunbird pollination of Satyrium species in South Africa entitled: Bird Pollination in South African Species of Satyrium (Orchidaceae) published in 1996 by The Journal of Plant Systematics and Evolution 203: 91-98.

I have atttached a few images below of my Satyriums.

Satyrium princeps

Satyrium sp. emerging

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