Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Rock Lily Man

When I first started growing orchids I bought and killed a wonderful Dendrobium falcorostrum I acquired from Andy's Orchids during my very first trip to the Pacific Orchid Exposition in 2005. This started a brief fixation with Australian Dendrobiums. I  soon thereafter bought on ebay (and eventually killed) three or four Dendrobium kingianum, a Dendrobium speciosum and a couple of primary hybrids. For all these plants the decline was long, slow and quite obvious. It was then that my dalliance with the Australian Dendrobiums came to an end. This was the realization that pushed me more strongly towards Cattleyas. In principle the Aussie Dens are terrific plants for my neck of the woods. They can deal with high and low temps, have fragrant flowers and bloom off old canes. What's not to like? But I killed them all - every single one. Now with several years of experience and improved growing conditions I am gingerly wading in to try Aussie Dens again.

Fred Clarke the owner of Sunset Valley Orchids is one of my enablers. I buy plants from him even when I know I shouldn't be acquiring new things. When I stopped by his booth at the 2012 POE one of his employees was raving about the Aussie Dens. I bought one Encyclia Orchid Jungle and walked away, proud of my willpower, and forgot all about it. Fred recently put some Cattleya divisions for sale up on his site and I decided to buy one. I wandered over to the Aussie Dens part of the site and I found myself tempted. After negotiating with myself for a while I decided to buy a few Dendrobiums from Fred, including a couple of Dendrobium speciosum seedlings.

This species is known as the Rock Lily down under. While doing research on these plants (there are several good resources out there, all Australian) I came across a wonderful website from Gerry Walsh - all about D. speciosum. You will enjoy perusing it.

Now if only I could find D. falcorostrum for sale...

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I've just come across this on google. I'm Gerry Walsh, the rock lily man. Thanks for your kind comments on my website. It's a pity I live so far away, I have Dendrobium falcorostrum coming out of my ears! It's alwayst the way . . . one man's poison as the expression goes.