Tuesday, December 27, 2016
This plant is a variant of the normally pink flowered species. It was found in a vacant lot that was going to be cleaned along with plants of the typical form. It has proven to be a floriferous and vigorous grower. This species is not difficult to grow as long as you replicate the way they grow in the wild. They grow in places where, when it rains, the water percolates quickly and the ground doesn't stay soping wet.
Sunday, December 25, 2016
In Puerto Rico, the orchid market is dominated by hybrids due to their availability and relative ease of cultivation in comparison with orchid species. However there is a small number of growers that cultivate mostly species. Finding Cuban orchid species in cultivation is not common so it is always a pleasure to find one in bloom. This is a species from Cuba, it is related to Epidendrum secundum but the flowers are different and they are also oriented differently in the inflorescence.
I saw this plant growing in a garden in the mountains of the west side of the Island of Puerto Rico, close to the town of Lares. Local conditions appear to be very favorable to its growth. It rains often, sometimes daily for weeks or even months. Temperatures are lower that in the coast of the island. The plant combines the genus Cattleya, Epidendrum and Caularthron.
An unusually shaped Cattleya tribe hybrid. In Cattleya a flat presentation of petals and sepals is considered the most desirable configuration. This plant is certainly not like that. However the bright color and the curled frilly petals are very eye catching. I like it.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Ponthieva ventricosa (Griseb.) Fawc. & Rendle, a few close ups of the flowers of this Caribbean endemic
The group of plants of this species that grows near my house suffered greatly during the drought of 2015. This year has been much wetter which has allowed he clump to recuperate somewhat. However it is still smaller than when I first found it due to the stress it underwent during the long dry spells of last year. It only has a fraction of the inflorescences that it used to produce.