Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Oncidium flexuosum and others

One of my first orchids, my Oncidium flexuosum, is currently flowering. The flowers are an interesting contrasts against the backdrop of all the Phalaenopsis blooms in the greenhouse. I have selfed some of the flowers and have also attempted a cross with Anancheilium cochleatum. The Oncidium is a species from Brazil and Argentina and has beautiful little yellow flowers. I find the plant rather messy and it seems to want to grow all over the place in an unstructured manner but it grows relatively quickly. I purchased my plant about 10 years ago from Else Hall when Stellenkloof Orchids was still operating just outside Stellenbosch. The inflorescence contains many nodes and I have attempted to clone these in the past using the same methods established for Phalaenopsis stem props. However, these nodes seem to always develop into an additional inflorescence with buds. I am yet to get them to produce plantlets.

Oncidium flexuosum

Close-up of flower
Recently I was very fortunate to be at the Duckitt's Open Day on 6 August. There were many different varieties on offer and I was most impressed with the selection of Aerangis species. I picked up a lovely little Dendrobium hybrid with no name and was later told by Richard King that it possibly has D. tetragonum and D. speciosum parentage. Richard inivited me around to view his collection that morning. He has the most beautiful home! His orchid collection is impressive and they look so natural and happy. He must have fun spending time in his greenhouse. I know if it were mine I would spend hours in there every day. One plant that was in flower which I thought was immensely beautiful was a very large Laelia anceps. Duckitt Nurseries has their annual show from 15-18 September in Darling. I might take the opportunity to take the wife and kids through again this year.

The seeds I ordered from Thailand have arrived in drips and drabs in the post but are doing well in vitro. So far I have kept contamination down to a minimum so I am hoping to have some interesting species germinating in the not too distant future. Then, from early September I have many Phalaenopsis pods to harvest and I have been looking forward to sowing these for nearly 6 months already! On pods, I have included an image below of a developing Angraecum sesquipedale pod which took successfully earlier this month.

Angraecum sesquipedale pod (early)

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