Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August terrestrials

My little Disa bracteata have just started to flower now. I have been waiting for them and watching daily for signs of budding. These little locals are not very much to look at but maybe this is just because their flowers are so tiny and because this species has a bad reputation for being an invasive species in Australia. I think it has much charm and the flowers are simple and yet they also have elegance. This species has been, and continues to be a good surrogate for learning about the requirements of growing Disas in vitro. The flowers are self-pollinating and last year I sowed a mother flask of dry seeds from the same plants. The flask is doing quite well but the seeds did take a long time to germinate. On the farm Disa bracteata grows together with a Satyrium sp. and Holothrix villosa(?) in a relatively small area. It makes me wonder whether they all share the same symbiotic fungus. I find it somewhat ironic that D. bracteata is considered an invasive species in Australia given all the Aussie invasives that we have here - and they get an orchid!

Disa bracteata
On Aussies, my Pterostylis x furcillata tubers are shooting nicely and growing very quickly indeed. I hope they flower so I can enjoy these odd little orchids. I have some other Pterostylis spp. seeds in vitro but none hane germinated just yet.
Pterostylis furcillata

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