Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Dendrobium harveyanum Rchb.f. 1883, blooming late in the year, months out of its normal blooming date.

Hurricane Maria caused grievous damage to the forest where I live.  Many trees fell and the canopy was destroyed in most of the forest.  Humidity and rainfall dropped.  Because there was no canopy the area temperature went up.  Also without the canopy the full power of the tropical sun hit all the understory plants burning them severely and killing some.  I lost many of my orchids to the changed environmental circumstances.  But some survived through it all.  Among them Dendrobium harveyanum.  In the last month it has not rained and the plants are suffering.  I wonder if this period of low humidity triggered this out of season blooming of the harveyanum.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Dendrobium sutiknoi P.O'Byrne 2005

I photographed this plant at the 2018 Puerto Rico orchid society orchid show.  This Dendrobium is a big plant.  The flowers are impressively large for an antilope Dendrobium,

Monday, August 27, 2018

Coelogyne pulverula Teijsm. & Binn. 1862, a specimen plant

This orchid was seen the 2018 Puerto Rico Orchid society show.  It is a large and healthy plant with long inflorescences and beautifully colored flowers.  It is labeled Coelogyne dayana "pipping rock".   Coelogyne dayana is a synonym of Coelogyne pulverula.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

After the storm: A view of a patch of forest in El Yunque rainforest, before and after hurricane Maria.


This is a view from the Iguaca Aviary, of a patch of forest 
in El Yunque rainforest, before hurricane Maria.

The same place, after Maria.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Oncidium altissimum [Jacq.] Swartz 1800, a close up of a flower from a plant growing in the Rio Abajo forest, Puerto Rico.

This orchid was one of the commonest epiphytic orchid in the Rio Abajo forest, Arecibo, Puerto Rico.  However it is unclear how many plants survived hurricane Maria.  Most plants grew high up the trees in branches that were close to the canopy, where they could get dappled sunlight.   After the hurricane, the plants that remained on the trees were severely sunburned because without the canopy to filter the sun, they were exposed all day to the harsh strength of the the tropical sun.  Unfortunately so many trees were broken, brought down or grievously damaged that checking on how the plants in the forest are doing right now would be a difficult and dangerous thing to do.  Hopefully in the future I will be able to check on how the plants that I had observed fared after the hurricane.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Cattleya schilleriana x Laelia undulata

The flowers of this hybrid look similar like Laelia undulata but are much larger than the flowers of that species.  In this case, instead of the flower bunch produced by L. undulata, the plant has produced two large flowers like Catt. schilleriana.

Dendrobium primulinum (now known as Den. polyanthum)

These photos are of a flower that that was just opened.  The flower will expand a bit in the first few days after it opens.  Dendrobium primulinum is a variable species with a vast geographica distribution, but all its forms share the characteristic of a lip that is almost round and very large in comparison with the rest of the floral segments.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Ponthieva ventricosa (Griseb.) Fawc. & Rendle, the colony of this orchid that grows near my house survived hurricane Maria.

The small colony of this orchid that is near my house survived hurricane Maria.  However, the plants suffered mightily from sunburn due to the fact that the loss of the canopy allowed the harsh rays of the full tropical sun to hit the plants.  Most plant lost all their leaves.  The plants grew new, small leaves.  Most of the plants appear to have survived the aftermath of the hurricane but it remains to be seen how it will affect them the increased level of sunlight they are getting as well as the decrease in rain and the raised temperatures due to the massive loss of leaves from the trees.

Bulbophyllum carunculatum Garay, Hamer, & Siegrist 1994

This plant was a given to me by the Mayaguez Orchid society.  It has grown well in the warm and humid environment of my garden.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Cranichis muscosa Sw. 1788, one of the first orchids blooming in the Rio Abajo forest, Puerto Rico, after hurricane Maria.

I found this orchid in a roadside.  The leaves had its sides sunburned and the plant was small for the species.  It escaped being buried in a mass of fallen bamboo stems.  It is growing on the side of a road cut, a drier place than where I am used to find them.  When I saw it I was happy that some plants survived.  The loss of the canopy due to the hurricane winds was a disaster for the plants used to grow on the shade of the forest understory, many burned to a crisp and died.  The reduced humidity in the weeks after the hurricane also was an issue.  Many plants were smothered by the massive leaf fall and the numerous large branches that were thrown violently to the forest floor.