Thursday, March 21, 2013

Some blooms in March

I have very few plants that are flowering at present. Things are a bit green in the greenhouse although there are a few plants that are sprouting some early buds. The Phalaenopsis species and hybrids have woken up and are all sending out spikes now. The first of these to flower will be P. aphrodite which always seems to be the earliest of the lot to flower with the exception of P. mannii which just seems to do its own thing every year.

I have never really had much success flowering Brassias before alhough one of my first orchids I bought was a Brassia hybrid and I admired the blooms for their weird shape. I acquired a very old Brassia Rex with a Stellenkloof label a few years ago. It has completely out-grown its pot but I always thought that I would just leave it for another year to see if this time it would actually flower for me. Of course it never did so its condition eventually changed from pot-bound to "I have just eaten the whole pot." this year I got sick of it and hung it up in a tree outside and neglected it for the most part. I was somewhat surprised recently when it sent out a spike! Maybe a gesture of apology? A friend of mine in Hermanus also has a Brassia Rex in flower at the moment, Brassia Rex 'White river' so I pollinated one of my flowers with some pollen from one of his plant's flowers. I have always wanted to raise some baby Brassias and hopefully I will get the chance in the near future.
 
Brassia Rex flower close-up
Brassia Rex in flower finally!
Another stunning orchid genus of which I have always wanted to try various species from seed is Stanhopea. Funny, I never actually kept these until recently. I got a small S. oculata at the beginning of the year from Bradley and re-potted it in a hanging basket outside my front door. It was small so I didnt expect that it would send out a rather large spike recently. I will update the blog with photos of the flowers when they open.
 
Stanhopea oculata in bud

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