Monday, June 30, 2014

Ionopsis utricularioides, I tied a fallen plant to a guava tree twig to see what happens

Here you can see a new growth starting from the base of the orchid, just above the roots

Last year I noticed that a Ionopsis plant was growing on a branch of a Camasey tree near my house.  I was delighted as it was in the perfect location for me to easily document the life cycle of this species.  Unfortunately, the branch was accidentally broken when a tall truck parked under the tree.  I was dissapointed, but I decided to tie the plant to a guava tree twig to see if it would survive.  

I tied the plant to a twig in the same place where plants in the wild grow, that is under the top leaves of the branch so that a layer of leaves protects the plant from exposure to full sun.  I tied the plant using wire.  I put the plant in the same orientation that I have seen plants in the wild.

For the last six months the plant the plant has been producing only roots, some of which have wandered into the guava tree branch.  For the moment the bulk of the roots are in the original, dead, Camasey branch.  I expect that when the new growth matures it will produce a flush of roots that will colonize the guava branch more fully.

The plant surprised me by producing a small inflorescence, very tiny for plants growing in a living host in the wild.  Because I want to see if the plant will get larger as more of its roots are in the guava branch, I will prevent the plant from developing seed pods.

My expectations is that this plant will grow larger next year and bloom much more prolifically.  One of the things that intrigue me is that many of these plants don't live long in the wild.  I will keep this one under observation to see how it grows, blooms and how long it will last.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Ionopsis, amo esta planta, mas já tentei três vezes e não consegui.
Parebéns Ricardo.