Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Coelogyne Burfordiense and Coe. mayeriana and their differences (I originally thought my Burfordiense was pandurata)

Coelogyne Burfordiense 
Coelogyne mayeriana pseudobulb
Coelogyne burfordiense pseudobulb
Lip of mayeriana
Lip of Burfordiense
I have three types of tropical Coelogyne, in this post I compare my plants of Bufordiense and mayeriana.  Originally this article listed Burfordiense as pandurata because this was what was in the label when I brought my plant.  Since then I have talked with many orchid growers and I have come to the concludion that my plant is the hybrid Bufordiense (pandurata x asperata)  Key to this understanding was a group in Facebook named Coelogynes e afins in which flowers of pandurata were shown, they clearly lacked the yellow warts that come from asperata.  I thank them for sharing their knowledge.

Coelogyne Burfordiense is a huge plant with pseudobulbs and leaves that are far larger than the other related species or hybrids. As you can see in the photo a well cultivated plant can produce five to six inches tall pseudobulbs, since they are also wider than the pseudobulbs of the other species a Burfordiense pseudobulb at five inches is far more massive than a mayeriana that tops out at two.

The denomination pandurata makes reference to the fiddle shape (pandurate) of the lip of the flower. Coe. Burfordiense has inherited this lip shape.  The mayeriana I have produces smaller flowers that don't have a fiddle shaped lip. Nevertheless I have seen mayeriana with lips that approach the shape of pandurata, which muddles the issue a bit.

In both orchids the color of the lip is black. Hybrids with other species can look pretty similar to pandurata but the brownish color of the flowers on some of them, and the presence of the warts from asperata is trait that can be used to identify hybrids.

The lip ornamentation on my Burfordiense is quite elaborate with black spines, yellow warts, and keels along the long axis of the flower. The flowers of my mayeriana are similar but the warts are white.

The inflorescences of Burfordiense can produce up to 17 flowers at a single time and are large and robust. The mayeriana inflorescence is much shorter than that of Burfordiense, the stem of the inflorescence is thinner, my mayeriana plant only produces four to six flowers per inflorescence.

The Coelogne species mayeriana, pandurata and parishii and their hybrids are relatively simple to cultivate if you live in the tropics and have the space to accomodate their rambling growth. Coelogyne Burfordiense is particularly bothersome in respect to potting as a plant can outgrow a pot in just a few months because of its long internodes between pseudobulbs and the large size of the plant.

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