Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bulbophyllum blepharistes Rchb.f 1872, this orchid doesn't seem to be common in cultivation

I have seen this interesting orchid only once, in the orchid collection of a cousin of mine.  The flowers are different from those of most other Bulbophyllum.  This orchid is a sequential bloomer that can produce a few flowers at a time from an elongating inflorescence.

Dendrobium Alex MacPherson

Some years ago I brought a number of plants of what I thought were Dendrobium helix from several local vendors.  When the plants bloomed they all turned out to be Dendrobium Alex McPherson.   This hybrid is common in local collections and shows wide variability in the colors of the flowers.  The plant I have range from mostly pink with coopery petals to almost all cooper color.  The orientation of the petals is highly variable, even in a single inflorescence.  The number of flowers in an inflorescence can go from relatively few to many densely packed flowers.  I have found it easy to grow under my local climatic conditions.  However the inflorescences are easily damaged by thrips.  When the thrips are swarming, normally during the mango tree blooming season, the inflorescences of this hybrid are often attacked and severely damaged.  During the rest of the year the flowers are long lived and stay in good conditions for several weeks.  The flowers lose color as time go by and an old flower can be a pale picture of a recently opened flower.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Brassolaeliocattleya Golden Tang 'Tropic Yellow"

I have had this hybrid since 2003.  It blooms well under my conditions and doesn't need any particular special care to thrive.  I my experience the flowers have the yellow color that I like best when grown under saran cloth.  Too much sun gives the flowers a pink tinge.  White fly is an annoying pest of this orchid but it is easily controlled with a spray of rubbing alcohol.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dendrophylax porrectus a leafless orchid growing on a camasey tree in the Rio Abajo forest

This orchid is native of Puerto Rico.  This orchid has no leaves just roots joined by a very short stem.  It produces tiny inconspicuous green flowers.  It can often be found growing on the branches of wild guava and camasey trees.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Comparettia falcata Poepp. & Endl. 1835, "in situ" in the central mountains of Puerto Rico

This species is native of Puerto Rico.  I have found it in areas of very high environmental humidity.  I have seen it growing mainly in thin branches and twigs, but I have also seen plant in trunks and more substantial branches.  I have seen it most often in the edges of the forest, where a creek or a trait opens up the canopy.  However finding it in areas of intact canopy is not easy so imy experience may be just an artifact of visual sampling and simply reflects the places where it can be viewed more readily.  This plant is not often seen in captivity in Puerto Rico mainly due to the difficulties replicating its environmental needs outside its native habitat.  In t experience, in particularly favorable habitats, it can be locally common in small areas.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Paphiopedilum Song of Love (liemianum x lowii), first bloom seedling

Last year I brought a number of seedlings of various Paphiopedilum crosses.  They are growing well but none had shown so far any inclination to bloom.  This is the first one to bloom.  Given the fact that there are several rothschildianum crosses among the seedlings, I may have to wait a few more years to see more flowers.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Encyclia alata, a plant I brought at a local Mall in the late 1990's.

I brought this plant in a local Mall in the late nineties.  It was in a block of tree fern and had an inflorescence with about twelve flowers.  It thrived under my care and produced large pseudobulbs with in turn produced enormous inflorescences.  Sadly the fern mount decayed, the orchid lost its roots and that was the end of it.  But I learned my lesson, the second plant of Encyclia alata I brought is still alive after ten years in my garden and blooming better than ever.  I will write about that one and how I potted it after the bitter experience of losing this one on a future blog post.