Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Bulbophyllum tingabarinum Garay, Hammer, Siegrist 1994, on bloom in July.
I brought thisplant at a 2012 meeting of the Orquidistas de Puerto Rico, group that originated in Facebook. I wanted it because I was seduced by the beauty of the photos of this plant in the Orchidsforum.com group. You can see these photos in Flickr, just look for PiotrM photostream and be prepared for your mind to be blown away.
I found the plant surprisingly small given the size of the flowers. Initally my plant had a few pseudobulbs, only two of which seemed to be large enough to bloom. At home I put it in a spot where it could get full morning sunlight up to 10 am and the rest of the day it got the dappled sunlight that filtered through the canopy of trees that surround my house. The plant didn't do anything until February 2013. Then it started producing new growths with impressive vigor. Unfortunately this period of the year is in the start of the dry season in locality. So everyday I had to drench the plant so that it would not abort the new growths due to lack of moisture. I also fertilized it after every watering with a weak fertilizer, I waited until the water had stopped dripping to fertilize the plant.
By May the plant had finished producing pseudobulbs. In late June I saw the first signs of an inflorescence, the first one opened its flowers in July 26. The plant has opened three inflorescences and two more are on their way. The bright color of the flowers is quite eye catching. If its performance so far turns out to be the norm, this Bulbophyllum with become my third most floriferous Bulbophyllum plant, the champion is Bulb. lepidum and on second place is Bulb. blumei.
Until recently I had never seen these plants in local collections. However in the last year a number of my friends have adquired this plant. Given that we live in different locations it will be interesting to see how this species performs under the various conditions.