Friday, January 25, 2013

Dendrobium hybrid 2 years later

On 3 December 2010 I germinated a hybrid of Dendrobium kingianum x D. speciosum and on 10 March 2011 I planted some small seedlings into a compot of sphagnum moss. If I look back now I realise that the seedlings were too small at 3 months to pot up but they did well considering that. The seedlings grew well and over the next two years out-grew their compot. I took them out of the pot this evening and attached them to a piece of milkwood that had been cut which I found close to our house in Hermanus. I look forward to their continual growth and eventual flowering.
Seedlings on 10 March 2010
Mounted on a log 25 January 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Some current blooms

I brought the majority of my collection back to Hermanus with me this past weekend and set up the smaller of my greenhouses to accomodate the plants. Some of the plants that are currently in flower include Phalaenopis mannii, a species ranging from the Indian Himalayas to Vietnam. It is a hot grower and this is the first time it has flowered although these flowers are not in the best shape. The other flowering species include my prolific Ascocenda ampullaceum and Cyrtorchis arcuata (first time flowering). The latter gives off the same scent at night as the flowers of Mystacidium capense to attract hawkmoths. The smell alone is worth keeping these wonderful orchids in your collection. The scent rates as one of the most pleasant I have ever encountered and is distinct and beautiful. The scent is only given off at night. 
Phalaenopsis mannii

Ascocenda ampullaceum

Cyrtorchis arcuata

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Progress so far with the Dendrobium seedlings

Just over a year ago I reported on my success with germinating and raising several Dendrobium species. I can't believe how much they have grown since then. Before my move to Hermanus I sent compots of various species to Bradley in Worcester and some others to Richard while I settled into the new environment and home. Some of these I have brought to Hermanus already and the rest I will be collecting from Bradley and Richard in the near future again. In the interim I have also ordered a number of seeds again of other species which I think would complement my seedling collection. I have also been very keen to raise a whole lot more Bonatea speciosa again after the success with my first batch. I processed 5 mother flasks of seeds from my own plants this past season and they have just started to germinate. If I have the same level of success with these as I did the first time I am hoping to make a large display of them in a large pot or put them in the garden where they can make a pretty display when in flower.
I have included a few images of some recently de-flasked babies which have been doing exceptionally well.

Dendrobium hercoglossum

Dendrobium griffithianum

Dendrobium anosmum

Dendrobium parishii

Dendrobium findlayanum

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

After the fire

The mountains after the burn
This morning I took a walk into the mountains not far from my home in Hermanus. I decided to take a few pictures for the blog and then saw a small gorge that had been spared by the flames. I headed into the gorge and found a waterfall cascading over a vertical face. There was much plant growth on this face so I decided to look for any Disa uniflora. I found one which was just about to flower. I had to balance precariously to take the picture (thank goodness for zoom!). It was really good to see some life amidst the destruction.

Disa uniflora