Friday, October 21, 2016

Encyclia alata [Bateman]Schlechter 1914

I brought this plant many years ago, at a small stall in a local Mall.  It would produce gigantic pseudobulbs, easily avocado sized.  The inflorescences were massive, at one time one produced one hundred flowers at the same time.  Unfortunately I lost it to root rot when I moved to a place high in the mountains that was way more humid than this plant can tolerate.  It differed from almost all the Enc. elata I have seen in cultivation in that the flower segments were longer, with curled back sides and the flowers were larger.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Rhyncholaelia digbyana x Cattleya Atalanta

An exceedingly old cross, this plant only bloomed for me when exposed to full sunlight for a few hours each morning.  Unfortunately I lost it to black rot during a prolonged spell of very wet and cool weather.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dendrobium purpureum Roxb. 1820 var. alba, first blooming 2016

This is the first time this plant has bloomed for me.  The plant is still small, I expect that as it get bigger the inflorescences will be larger and fuller.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Psychilis krugii Sauleda, Psy kraenzlinii (Bello) Sauleda y Psy. x raganii

Psy. x raganii, hybrid of Psy. kraenzlinii and Psy. krugii
Psy. kraenzlinii
Psy. krugii

Psychilis x raganii Sauleda, I photographed several plants to see the flower variation

These orchids were growing in the eroded face of a hill, under and between spiny bushes and stunted trees.  The substrate was mud and loose stone, a mixture that made walking around challenging and dangerous.  The angle of the side of the hill varied between 45 and 60 degrees.  In some spots the bushes were a solid impassable mass.  In the steepest places there were no plants at all but only bare rock.  Most of the area was a crazy quilt of continuos vegetation, eroded spots, bare rock places and stunted grass patches.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Psychilis x raganii Sauleda, a follow up visit to the population I visited in 2013

I visited this population of orchids for the first time back in 2013.  Today I checked on it and was pleased to find that the plants are still doing well. The plants were blooming and I saw seed pods and seedlings. There seems to be fewer plants in places where they can be easily seen from the trail but that might just be because aren't as many plant flowering now as when I first visited.  The place seems little changed.  However, before I got to the place where the orchids are I had to wade through a veritable sea of neck tall grass, Panicum maximum.  There may be that coming next dry season the area will be very fire prone due to large amount of dry grass present.  However the orchids are growing higher in the mountain in a place so dry that the grass is stunted, small and inhibited from growing by the abundant spiny bushes.  You can read about my first visit to the place where these orchids grow here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Catasetum saccatum 'Danelis' AM/AOS, Mayaguez orchid society show, September 2016

I was delighted to find impressively cultivated and pleasantly weird plant literaly in a sea of Cattleyas.  Catasetum and his hybrids have a dedicated following locally and their popularity is growing.   Most plants exhibited in orchid shows are hybrids but from time to time a species shows up.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Ornithophora radicans (Rchb. f.) Garay & Pabst 1951, a miniature that produces many flowers

I photographed this miniature at the Mayaguez orchid society show in September.   This plant is popular in Puerto Rico and it is common to see plants on display at the various orchid shows.  Even small plants produce many flowers.  The flowers are quite small and pose a challenge to get a good photo.  

Paphiopedilum Wossner Kolarmi (Paph. armeniacum x Paph. kolopakingii)

In most orchid shows in Puerto Rico, Paphiopedilum plants are few and almost always multifloral hybrids of rothschildianum or phillippinense.  So it was a delight to find a hybrid of a parvisepalum paphiopedilum on display at the Mayaguez Orchid society show last September.  Very few people locally cultivate armeniacum hybrids, so I was great to have the opportunity to photograph this plant.  The flowers were large, showy and had a hard, almost leathery texture.  In the top photo the top sepal was reflexed by the owner to show the line pattern, the flowers naturally look like the bottom photo.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Basiphyllea corallicola (Small) Ames, one of our native orchids of Puerto Rico

I found this orchid in the Maricao forest.  I have walked many times by the place where this clump of plants is growing and never noticed them.  They are practically invisible without their inflorescences.  This plant is rarely photographed.  I always thought that Basiphyllea flowers remained almost completely closed, but it seems there is a population in Maricao where flowers open wide.  Unfortunately when I found this clump, a few buds remained and only a single, damaged flower was opened wide.

Paphiopedilum Gloria Naugle (Paphiopedilum rothschildianum × Paphiopedilum micranthum)

Few people cultivate Paphipedilum in the island of Puerto Rico, so it is always a treat when one is put on exhibition.  This one was shown at the Mayaguez Orchid Society show, in September 29, 2016.