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.