Monday, May 5, 2014

Arachnis Maggie Oei 'Red Ribbon'

Arachnis Maggie Oei is a hybrid that was made in Singapore in the 1940’s.  It was an important part of the cut flower market for decades.    In the photo above you can see the clone ‘Red Ribbon’ which is arguably showier than the more widespread clone ‘Yellow Ribbon’.  I have wondered why ‘Red Ribbon’ is much less common in gardens and orchid collections than ‘Yellow Ribbon’.  One reason may be that ‘Red Ribbon’ has been offered less for sale than ‘Yellow Ribbon’.  But I suspect there is another reason.  I had a planting that combined ‘RR’ and ‘YR’ plants in my garden in the lowlands near the coast.   The plants formed a thicket of stems and after a while I stopped labeling which plant was which.  The planting suffered a period of neglect during a dry season.  When the rains started I discovered that no ‘RR’ plant had survived, the ‘YR’ suffered mightily but came back strongly as soon as they got good care again.   It may be that ‘RR’ is less able to tolerate neglect in drier places than ‘YR’.  In my garden in the mountains, which gets much more rain than the garden in the coast, ‘RR’ they grow well with very little care.  When pampered the clone ‘RR’ can produce large inflorescences with one or two small branches near the base.

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