This time of the year is particularly sparse regarding my plants but there have been a few interesting things happening over the last few days. I have noticed that my Bletillas are beginning to wake up now which is quite early and my other terrestrials are all growing like crazy. I am hoping that this Spring I will have enough variety in my flowering Satyriums to do some hybridising. Speaking of hybridising I was pleasantly surprised this afternoon to see some green protocorms forming in the flask of seeds I sowed 38 days ago of Eulophia streptopetala X Ansellia africana. This is quite unusually fast for the Eulophia parentage. Eulophias are notoriously slow. It must be the Ansellia africana in the mix. I also recently had some germination of some pure yellow Ansellia africana from a large wild plant that lives in a tree on the WBOS chairman's farm up North somewhere. I wasn't sure how mature the pods were when I sowed them but they seemed to be fine. It will be good to raise some more of these non-cultivar and purely wild representatives for collections. It's not easy to get the purely wild form anymore with the markets full of various selected cultivars!
|Germinating Ansellia africana|
My Bonateas (B. speciosa) are also doing well although I only have a few. I will be fine-tuning the mix later this year to produce a far more successful yield. I am hoping to raise an army of these for planting out as a flower bed in the garden. I have also focussed a significant time this year on raising Satyrium species in vitro. They are particularly difficult but I have managed to do it before and this time I will be pushing for significant numbers. Currently I am hoping that my test batch of Satyrium carneum using a modified medium with chloramphenicol will germinate. Then, at least half the battle is over. My aim this year is to work hard on the South African terrestrials! A good challenge.
Bonatea speciosa seedling
For those who are keeping an eye on the development of my Dendrobium crystallinum I have included two pictures, one on the day of replate on 6 April 2013 and today, 20 May 2013.