Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A new year in Rockhampton, central Queensland

The move from Townsville to Rockhampton at the end of 2019 was disruptive for my plants, and many of them resented the relocation by road. Some of my fussier species were knocked back during active growth by at least a year or even more from the move. As a result I decided to focus on some new terrestrials (geophytes), and purchased a variety of Australian native species including Nervilia species and some others. The Nervilia species were purchased from Ian Walters at Burleigh Park Orchids in Townsville and arrived as tubers via express post. However, I quickly realised that 'express' is not quite express when the destination is outside of the main shipping centres in Australia! They took three days to arrive and the other postage occupants, two Habenaria species (H. rhodocheila and H. medusa) were very stressed on arrival. After two days of TLC and a treatment with dilute Seasol, both Habenaria species responded well and made a full recovery and are currently growing steadily. The Nervilia species (N. aragoana and N. plicata) are growing rapidly, and their foliage is unique and impressive. It is certainly worth growing these for their foliage alone. 
Nervilia plicata sold as its synonym N. dallachyana - growth period = 10 days
Nervilia aragoana
Later this week I am expecting a shipment of Corybas, Diuris, Pterostylis, Thelymitra, and PterygodiumSatyrium and Serapias species. The first four are native Australian species, while the Pterygodium and Satyrium are South African, and the Serapias are European. All of these originate from culture, from Nesbitt's Orchids. I have also joined the Australian Native Orchid Society (Victoria) to learn more about the Australian native terrestrial species and to connect with some like-minded people. This summer I also hope to flower my young Phaius australis for the first time, which is growing like a weed, and my Geodorum densiflorum which woke up recently from a 6-months sleep. I expect that the habenarias will probably only flower next year or maybe towards the end of this new year. I am still actively on the hunt for additional Habenaria species and of course Bonatea speciosa.
Old sleepy - Geodorum densiflorum