Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Some flask progress to see me into the cold winter nights

I always try to do as much flasking as possible during winter. It always seems to lift my spirits when I get depressed over the state of some of my plants in my collection that clearly don't like the colder conditions. I have sown quite a few interesting little things recently and I have some additional gems waiting to be sown. Still on the mother plants I have a Brassia Rex x Brassia verrucosa crossing which I must do this week when I have a moment. This is the crossing referred to as Brassia Rising star. It is a lovely hybrid. It is interesting that crossing Brassia Rex back to Brassia verrucosa has produced such an awesome hybrid. It has won several international awards and is one of the very first orchid hybrids I actually purchased so many years ago... oddly though I can't recall whatever happened to my Brassia Rising Star! Brassia Rex is a primary hybrid with Brassia verrucosa and Brassia gireoudiana. I also have a ripe pod on my Panarica brassavolae (Encyclia brassavolae, Prosthechea brassavolae) that is due to be sown now. These should provide some excitement into the cold nights. Currently I have several flasks of developing Cymbidium insigne alba protocorms as well as several flasks of differentiating Cyrtorchis chailluana protocorms. These I am hoping to raise up to make a mass planting. My Dendrobium speciosum seedlings are doing well and I must sow some more of these to ensure enough excess for the next season and for selling at our next WBOS show. My Habenaria rhodocheila protocorms were re-plated onto a modified BM-1 just before protocorm differentiation and they have taken nicely to the new medium. So far so good with these little gems. I am going to hold onto these ones for my own collection! Other interesting babies include a friend's Eulophia primary hybrid I have developed for him (Eulophia adamanenis X Eulophia streptopetala) and some re-plated Renanthera sp. I have also sown some locals species - Bonatea speciosa (again) and Pterygodium catholicum for a good challenge.
Waiting in the wings are some nicely developing Haraella retrocalla pods! These are still about half way from being ready to sow but I watch them daily like a doting father.
Here are some quick shots of some of the babies mentioned above:
Cyrtorchis chailluana

Dendrobium speciosum

Eulophia adamanensis X Eulophia streptopetala

Renanthera sp.

Trias oblonga

Friday, June 13, 2014

Trichoglottis rosea first flowering

Trichoglottis rosea is a species from the Philippines and Taiwan according to the IOSPE website. It is a warm growing epiphyte that grows on tree trunks. My plant has done particularly well on a mount with its longest aerial roots allowed to rest with their tips in a suspended tub of water mixed with a weak solution of fertiliser. This way the plant avoids losing too much moisture. These root tips have also responded by producing additional new side shoots growing directly into the fertiliser solution.
The flowers took a while to form and started off as little nodes protruding from the stem opposite a leaf. The first flowers opened recently and are small and delicate and closely borne to the stem in tight bunches. The flowers usually have light yellow barring on the petals but my plant's flowers are pure white with a pink lip. This is the first Trichoglottis species I have flowered. I managed to kill my Trichoglottis philippinensis and looking back I believe that this was due to incorrect potting and not enough water. I will try this one again when I get the opportunity.

Trichoglottis rosea close-up