Monday, August 18, 2014

Stanhopea panamensis

New growths have been popping out of the sides of the basket,
some three to four inches under the level of the top of the media

Some time ago I put this Dendrobium harveyanum keiki on top of th Stanhopea basket and forgot about it.  The little plant became totally trapped in the Stanhopea root basket, it can't be removed without harming it severely.  Recently it started producing a new cane.  It seems it will survive being in the root mass of the larger orchid.

My plant of Stanhopea panamensis blooms in a somewhat erratic manner.  I never know when an inflorescence will pop out of the bottom of the basket.  But generally it tends to bloom in summer and autumn in the rainiest part of the year.  The media I used of it was the cheapest bark I could find, most of it has decayed and whatever is left is held together by the root mass.  The top of the basket is filled with old pseudobulbs, new pseudobulbs are now appearing from the sides of the basket, several inches under the level of the media on top of the basket.    

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A toadstool in the pot of Miltonia Earl Dunn

Early in the year, during the local dry season, I put a few pieces of very dry horse manure on top of the media of a Miltonia Earl Dunn.  I wondered if the addition of manure would have a positive influence on the growth of the plant.  When the rainy season arrived, the Miltonia started growing but the manure didn't seem to make any difference in its growth rate or the size of the pseudobulbs that were produced.  About two weeks ago tropical storm Bertha passed close to the island of Puerto Rico, it brought with it copious rain.  In two days 7.30 inches of rain accumulated, which is roughly about the same quantity of rain we would get in the months of June and July.  The heavy rainy spell stimulated many plants, Dendrobium crumenatum plants in bloom were everywhere in the island, my Dendrobium equitans plant is full of buds and Stanhopea panamensis developed two inflorescences.  But orchids were not the only ones to react to the increased humidity.

This morning I saw this delicate toadstool growing out of the pot of the Miltonia Earl Dunn.  The toadstool was very delicate, I am sure simply touching it would have damaged the cap.  The toadstool was in pristine condition during the morning before the day got hot.  Today was a singularly hot and dry day.  When I checked the toadstool it had become dehydrated and had collapsed.  My suspicious is that the addition of manure allowed this fungus to colonize the media of the Miltonia.  I occasionally find toadstools in the pots of other  orchids but usually they are quite small and inconspicuous.  This is the largest one I have ever seen.

The Miltonia doesn't show any sign that the fungus is harming it.  Given the warm, tropical conditions that are the norm in my garden, fungus are everywhere.   Even thought themedia has been colonized by this fungus, it doesn't look too decayed and the Miltonia roots seem healthy.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Encyclia cordigera [HBK] Dressler 1964, this is the type known as var. rosea

The color of the leaves is not due to a disease.  The color is a response to growing in a high light intensity area.  The plant is potted in chunks of coconut fiber and small pieces of tree ferns.

Cattleya trianae Lindley & Rchb.f 1860

I got this Cattleya trianae as a seedling about a decade ago.  The flowers were not quite what I expected, but I found them very nice nevertheless.  Ever the years the plant grew larger and more floriferous.  Unfortunately, during a spell of very wet weather the center of the plant got rot and it lost many pseudobulbs.  It no longer looks like this.  But these photos record the plant at its best.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bulbophyllum tingabarinum Garay, Hammer, Siegrist 1994, blooming in 2014

After two years in my garden I can attest that Bulbophyllum tingabarinum is easy to grow and flower at middles altitudes in the mountainous interior of Puerto Rico.  It does demand careful fertilization when it is producing new growths or the pseudobulbs will be smaller than their full potential.  For me it blooms like clockwork every August.  In 2014 it has produced two inflorescences.  The high winds and the copious rains that tropical storm Bertha brought to the island the last two days didn't affect the flowering process.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Bulbophyllum frostii Summerh.1928

This orchid is by no means common in orchid collections in Puerto Rico.  On the other hand it has a dedicated following among those relatively few growers that keep Bulbophyllums.    This plant appears not to be hard to grow and bloom in Puerto Rico coastal lowlands.