Monday, May 19, 2014

Pterostylis torquata - the Jar Jar Binks of orchids


Pterostylis torquata
Pterostylis torquata is one of three of my Pterostylis species that I currently have. This is the only one flowering at the moment but the others may flower a bit later in the year. I have always enjoyed these comical Australian orchids. These orchids are not often offered for sale in South Africa, or commonly grown but I think they have a lot of charm and they do quite well given the same growing conditions as many of our local Winter rainfall terrestrial species. I am going to try to set some seeds on this species once another flower opens so I can do an out-crossing. I have sown Pterostylis species before and they seem to be a bit fiddly in vitro much like some of our Disa species. I have just finished reading an interesting article on asymbiotic germination and media comparison of some Australian terrestrial species: Dowling, N., and Jusaitis, M. (2012). Asymbiotic in vitro germination and seed quality assessment of Australian terrestrial orchids. Australian Journal of Botany. Pterostylis nutans performed well on BM-1, as did other genera. The authors recorded seedling development on the scale of 1-5, where 1 was an intact seed testa, 2 was a ruptured testa, 3 was the development of rhizoids, 4 was the start of shoot differentiation, and 5 was the emergence of the first leaf. The results only reflect the first 4 stages and I must wonder whether this was due to timing or whether none of the species tested actually made it to stage 5? I have actually noticed this before with BM-1 with other species where the germination rates are high but the protocorms only develop to a point. I guess I will have to wait and see what happens if I am successful in setting seeds on my plants..
 
 
 
 
 

4 comments:

  1. I did not realise they flower this early! I have Pterostylis curta growing, but not flowering yet.. Nice job!

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    1. Hi Casper

      I think mine is early. I have quite a number of different terrestrials all coming up much earlier than last year. I recall my Pterostylis x furcillata flowered in Spring last time.

      Best regards, David

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  2. Pterostylis can actually flower at any time of the year, depending on the species. Many of the NSW species are well described in the link below, with the flowering times of each usually in the species descriptions.
    http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=gn&name=Pterostylis

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the information Greg. I am having a lot of fun with my Australian orchids. My Pterostylis x furcillata is now also sending up a flower.

      Best regards, David

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