Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Epidendrum nocturnum

Only a single bloom on this night-fragrant species.  Earlier in the year it had multiple blooms.  This is one of the unusual species in the Cattleya alliance in which a growth will bloom multiple times.  Most Cattleyas/Laelias bloom only on new growths.  Quite a wingspan on that flower.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bold Jumper

Not a lot going on.  Things are growing, nothing new blooming.  Yesterday while I was cleaning up the orchid bench, I took a pot that had no plant in it and removed it.  It did have a bunch of white webby stuff that I assumed was an old spider nest.  Well a bit later in the day I saw a Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax) moving around on the bench, climbing over pots and baskets as if it were looking for something but I didn't think it was hunting.  Then it hit me.  It was not an old nest, it was an active nest!  I teased apart the edge of the nest and saw lots of baby spiders moving around.  So, I put the pot with the nest in it (covered by a grape leaf) back on the bench in the area mom was looking and I watched.  She found the nest, and then went in to repair the damage I had done.  In the second picture you can see her guarding the entrance to her nest.  If you've never watched one of these things moving around, you should.  It makes you very glad you are not an insect!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Capsule update

A few months ago I posted on a Cattleya hybrid that I crossed to two different species.  The flower was pollinated on 03/15/10 using pollen from C. trianae 'A. C. Burrage'.  Below you can see how big the capsule has grown.  It still has several months to go until being harvested.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cattleya leopoldii

The second and third inflorescenses on my big leopoldii are now open and emitting a wonderful spicy fragrance on the patio.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cattleya leopoldii alba

First blooming of a seedling I acquired about 2 years ago with one open flower and another on the way.  I like it and am hoping for more and better shaped flowers next year.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Another confused Cattleya

A month ago I posted on a confused C. purpurata.  Here we have another confused Cattleya, this time, C. trianaeA while back I acquired two bareroot C. trianae from S. America.  They're just trying to get established right now.  Here is one of them, and I have to admit this surprised me.  Out of a dried sheath a single bud is emerging.  In this hemisphere this species almost always blooms in January.  It is clearly on southern hemisphere schedule.  I pinched off this bud after taking the photo.  There is no way I am going to allow this plant to use its meager resources to produce a flower.  Hopefully losing the flower will initiate a cycle of vegetative/root growth.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cattleya walkeriana

My C. walkeriana started a new growth about a month ago.  The (very thick) roots started growing about a week ago, at which time I mounted it.  I was going to mount it on cork, but I decided to mount it on a piece of crepe myrtle instead.  It is tied to the mount with cotton twine and is sitting in an empty clay pot.  Once it attaches I will remove the twine.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cattleya gaskelliana alba

I got this plant about 2.5 years ago - this is the sheath on a maturing new growth.  According to Chadwick's article on this plant, the growth will bloom immediately upon completing maturation. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bloom or die, Oncidium sphacelatum!

I've had this plant for about three or four years.  It was blooming when I received it, but hasn't bloomed since.  It's growing like crazy, just not blooming.  It also takes up a lot of space.  I decided to change conditions by exposing it to lots more light.  It spends part of the day in full sun - no shade cloth.  The leaves have turned a much lighter shade of green, with a couple of leaves even turning yellow.  We'll see what happens.  This is one of those situations where research on culture recommendation yields conflicting results.  At Jay Pfhal's site the symbols indicate part shade, while the Bakers  recommend that "Light should be as bright as possible short of burning the foliage..."

We shall see.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Anthocyanin is a plant pigment.  It is responsible for the purple flower color that is the most common among the so-called "unifoliate" Cattleya species (e.g., labiata, trianae, mossiae).  Besides its function in flowers, anthocyanin is produced and functions in other plant tissues including leaves and roots.  The result of this phenomenon is that Cattleyas that have unusually dark purple flowers also have more red pigment produced in other tissue types.  Here is an example of that.  This picture shows two views of a Cattleya labiata seedling I've been growing for about two years.  This plant is the rubra type, which has darker flowers.  The red pigmentation in the leaves is quite intense, especially on the undersides.  Plants that are alba or semi-alba often have leaves of a paler green compared to the typical form.