Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Phaiocalanthe varieties, the sadness of being spurned for being easy

A white lipped variant of Phaiocalanthe Kryptonite

Phaiocalanthe Kryptonite 'Ursula'

Phaiocalanthe looks particularly good when shown in groups

A white form of Phaio. Kryptonite, for a time it used to be the most commonly available color

A group of white Phaio. Krytonite with inflorescences growing toward the light

A yellow clone of Phaio. Charlie Khlem

Pastel pink Phaio. Charlie Khlem, the intensity of color of the flowers seems to be greatly influenced by temperature.  In my location warmer temperatures means lighter colored flowers.

When grown in a place where the light shines on them evenly from all directions the inflorescences grow straight up
A bicolored Phaio. Charlie Khlem

The previous flower, freshly opened

A select clone of Phaio. Charlie Khlem

A group of Phaiocalanthes and Calanthes

Pity the poor Phaiocalanthe, it is burdened by the lack of those things that most attract orchidists.  It is not rare, it won’t take 10 years to bloom, the flowers are not ugly, contorted, or weirdly bizarre.   It has a sad tendency to resist dying if slightly neglected and a bit larger than normal variations in temperature won’t cause it to defoliate and depart for that great terracotta pot in the sky.    The lack of all the things previously listed means that Phaiocalanthe is generally less valued than other orchids that are the source of much confusion and handwringing among orchidist.  But if you value pretty flowers that demand only a modest amount of care, Phaiocalanthe has much to offer.  Here I show a selection of the varieties I have cultivated.  All were cultured the same, you can read about their culture in this same blog under the description of the culture of Phaiocalanthe Kriptonite ‘Ursula’.

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