Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rhychodendrum Cabalgata en Verde

This orchid is a cross of Rhyncholaelia digbyiana  and Epidendrum ciliare.  Both species have notable fringed lips.   Epi. ciliare has green sepals and petals and a relatively narrow lip that is white with fringed side lobes and has a long central projection.  Rhyncholaelia dygiana generally has green sepals and petals and a wide, deeply fringed green lip.  The Epi. ciliare parent of this cross is a particularly fine representative of the species, its flower has the largest natural spead of any ciliare awarded under the AOS system and was awarded a FCC in 2011.  The Rhyncholaelia parent is the cultivar “Laura” AM/AOS.  When I saw this Rhychodendrum it had two inflorescences, one with two flowers and another with three.  The flower count is reduced from the number the Epidendrum parent produces because of the Rhycholaelia influence.  

The Epidendrum parent dominates the appearance of the flower of the cross.  The Rhycholaelia influence shows as a widening of the side lobes and of the projection of the lip that is a particular feature of the Epi. ciliare lip.  The plant form is similar to the Epidendrum parent.  Since I saw this plant early in the morning I could discern no fragrance, but since both species are known to produce fragrance at night, I would expect it to be fragrant after the onset of darkness.

I have learned that only a few plants of this cross survived to bloom.  I have been told that there are just two clones of this cross.  I was told the other clone has even wider flower segments and produces more flowers, I hope one day I will see it.  I have seen three Epi. ciliare crosses and in two the Epidendrum is dominant in the shape and size of the hybrid.  I the third, a cross with Blc. Toshie Aoki, the flower is much larger than ciliare but from the appearance of the flower you would have a hard time guessing that the other parent..

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