Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cymbidium Dorothy Stockstill 'Forgotten Fruit'

I brought this plant the annual PR orchid society show in San Juan in 2007.  When I brought this orchid it was a small seedling.  It grew well and soon had large and handsome growths.  Unfortunately it would not bloom.  Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it tried to bloom frequently but the inflorescences never developed fully.  What happened was this, the plant would start producing an inflorescence, it would start developing but then, when it was barely half and inch long, it would stop growing.  The inflorescence would stay the same size for weeks and then rot and turn black.  I saw this disheartening chain of events happen over and over.
Eventually I stopped paying close attention to the plant.  The plant kept growing and producing new bulbs and I moved it to a larger pot.  It would still not bloom, even though it kept producing what were clearly incipient inflorescences.  Then in February 2012 I noticed that one of the inflorescences had lengthened considerably without rotting.  I kept watch over it and to my delight a few days later a stem full of buds came out of the bracts that covered the base of the inflorescence.
The inflorescence kept lengthening until it reached about two feet long.  It produced thirty flowers of an excellent leathery texture.  The flowers were not as red as I thought they would be but nevertheless the color was nice enough.  The flowers lasted a few weeks in perfection mainly because I protected them from rain and the abundant insects of Rio Abajo which would have probably damaged them pretty quickly.
This is not, by any account, a free blooming plant under my conditions.  But the flowers are so nice when they are produced that I am willing to keep it, if only for the sake of the occasional inflorescence.  I expect that this orchid will bloom again and perhaps next time it will produce more than a single inflorescence.

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