Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pholidota chinensis in bloom last month

I can't believe I haven't posted since November! Definitely overdue :)

One of my newer orchis is a Pholidota chinensis, which I acquired February 2010 @ the Southern Ontario Orchid Society Show, before my 2011 New Years resolution not to acquire any new orchids!

I was attracted to this little plant because it said to culture like Coelogyne, and I have had quite a bit of success reblooming my two Coelogynes, both on the west coast and here in Toronto. So I thought I would give this Pholidota a try, plus I had never heard of it before!

Pholidota is a small-sized southern Chinese orchid, also found in Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Burma. It has small flowers on pendulous spikes and the flowers are mildly fragrant. My flowers were almost translucent in colour.

For more blogging about Pholidota chinensis, see this post on Backbulbs by Richard Lindberg.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lepanthes woodburyana in situ!

Once again I am long overdue for a blog post! I am excited to be writing today about a trip to El Yunque National Forest I did at the end of October while on vacation in Puerto Rico.

We did an afternoon hike through the rainforest and I kept my eyes peeled for signs of orchids growing in the wild. I saw many bromeliads and what I believe were a couple of Pleurothalids that didn't appear to be in bloom. Luckily we had a guide who pointed out a tiny orchid in bloom - Lepanthes woodburyana, also known as babyboot orchid an apparently quite a common orchid. The flowers are super small but have are very brightly coloured.

Our trip to El Yunque happened to be on my birthday, so it was a great birthday gift to spot this endemic wild orchid in bloom!

More pictures and information of Lepanthes woodburyana here and here.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Time for an orchid blog post!

I'm definitely overdue for a blog post before we hit August! It's been a pretty hot summer here in Toronto. I finally took some time to do a much-needed tidying up of my orchid nook last weekend. I had gotten rid of some dead plants I was leaving lying around for who-knows what reason. It's not like they were going to come back to life! Anyways, I've been meaning to blog about this for ages, so I'll start this blog post with the rather depressing list of plants I have killed - not a comprehensive list - just in the last couple of years:

Bulbophyllum lasiochilum :(
Cattleya forbesii
Cattleya polkay tangerine x
Octomeria gracilis
Paphiopedilum bellatulum
Phalaenopsis equestris
Pleurothallis phallangifera

In fact, in my little orchid spreadsheet, the list of orchids I have killed is now noticeably longer than the list of orchids I own that are currently alive (which is roughly about two dozen)! I did a quick calculation of purchase price too, I've probably killed close to $500 worth of orchids!! Jeez, that's an expensive hobby! Good thing I'm doing well on my 2011 new year resolution not to buy any orchids this year!

I also have identified a top five list of orchids I have that have never bloomed and that I would love to get to bloom in the coming year. They are:

Epidendrum polybulbon
Maxillaria tenuifolia
Paphiopedilum venustrum alba
Phragmipedium sorcerer's apprentice
Sedirea japonica

As I mentioned above, I did some cleaning and tidying of my kitchen orchid nook last weekend, so I'm attaching a picture of the newly arranged area. I still plan on buying a couple baskets from Ikea to store the stuff on the bottom shelf. I also removed 5 huge keikis from my Dendrobium kingianum and potted them up individually as well as one keiki from my Dendrobium monoliforme!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dendrobium kingianum in bloom

I've mentioned on Twitter that my Dendrobium kingianum is currently in bloom. It has a lovely tulip-like scent during the day, which is quite strong, despite the small size of the flowers on this plant. I have two flower spikes, one with five flowers and the other with two.

Dendrobium kingianum is native to eastern Australia and is commonly known as Pink Rock Lily or Pink Rock Orchid. In my quick research for this post, I learned that this orchid has actually been reclassified as Thelychiton kingianus. Kingianus is named for Captain Phillip Parker King (1793-1856) an early Australian explorer.

I acquired my plant at the Victoria Orchid Society show and sale back in the spring of 2007 before we moved out to Toronto. It was and still is potted in a tiny little bonsai clay pot, and while I know it should be repotted, I also know that it likes to be crowded and I have no idea how I'm going to get it out of its pot without shattering it!

While I was in Washington, DC last month I had a chance to visit the orchid room of the United States Botanic Garden. The orchid collection is fairly small but I did spot an impressive specimen of Dendrobium kingianum / Thelychiton kingianus in bloom!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jumellea arachnantha in bloom!

My Jumellea arachnantha is in bloom for the second time since I purchased it at the Southern Ontario Orchid Society show in February 2008. It didn't bloom for me until last year and then again this year, so I am pretty happy with this plant. It has beautiful white flowers that are especially fragrant at night. To me they smell similar to an Easter Lily.

I also love the green foliage on this plant and the fact that the plants can get very large. According to Flora of Madagascar (translated by Steven D Beckman), the leaves on these plants can grow up to 70 cm long. They also have fascinatingly long spurs. The ones on my flowers are over 2.5 cm long. This orchid is native to the Comoros Islands off the southeast coast of Africa, which are the world's largest producer of ylang ylang essence. I bet those islands smell amazing!

Encouraged by this Jumellea success and inspired by the Brooklyn Orchids orchid of the week, I've decided that I might be brave and try another Angraecoid, perhaps the beautiful green Aeranthes grandiflora. Especially while I am not in such a temperate climate as the west coast of Canada. It's actually pretty darn warm in our house here in Southern Ontario in the summer!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Finally, an update!

Seems like a good day to post an update to the orchid blog :)

Hard to believe I haven't posted here since September, wow, 6 months ago! It's pretty easy to keep up with Twitter updates though, so at least I haven't fallen behind on those.

I've wanted to post some pictures for the last few weeks but alas I dropped and broke another one of our cameras so I only had my crappy laptop camera, not really worth posting! It hasn't been as a great a blooming winter as it was last year, but nonetheless I've had some good blooms. I think I'm most happy with the Coelogynes, that had the most blooms they've ever had this year. Below is the Coelogyne flaccida followed by the Coelogyne cristata:

I still have a nice purple Paphiopedilum hybrid in bloom and my Dendrobium monoliforme just finished blooming. The monoliforme is pictured in a new-to-me Italian pot I found in an antique shop in Austin!

Finally, I'm heading to Washington, DC next weekend for a work conference and am hoping that I have some spare time to head to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History to check out their current exhibit Orchids: A View from the East. There is also a related exhibit going on at the same time, The Orchid in Chinese Painting, exhibiting at the Smithsonian Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Hope I can get to both of these places while I'm in town!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Air travel with orchids!

Darn, I had drafted a blog posting last weekend and then it didn't save!

I recently went on a small orchid shopping trip while home visiting on the West Coast. I've done a few domestic flights with orchids, as well a cross-country drive, so I wasn't worried about transporting my orchids back on the plane.

This most recent trip was a piece of cake. I only had three relatively small-sized orchids that I purchased while visiting a small greenhouse just outside the Cowichan Valley. I wrapped them in newspaper and they fit perfectly, side by side and upright, in a jute carry-on bag. I stored them in the overhead adjacent to other luggage to make sure they wouldn't fall on their side. I didn't get any inquiries about them while going through Security at the airport.

So my new acquisitions are as follows:

Phragmipedium grande 
Cymbidium georginii
Aerangis biloba

I already have one Phragmipedium hybrid that has not yet bloomed for me. In fact it's one of those plants that I often wonder if it's been dormant since I bought it! Even after moving it to more light, it hasn't really done much. But I once looked after a friend's Phrag hybrid and it bloomed and it was a pretty exciting event!

I chose the Cymbidium because I have two hybrids that I love and that have bloomed well for me. I wanted to try my hand at my first Cymbidium species! This one is quite small, especially relative to my two hybrids. 

I'm very excited yet frightened of the Aerangis at the same time! I realized that since I no longer live in a cool-growing orchid environment, I might as well try my hand at an intermediate / warm growing species! We'll see! I have yet to find more permanent homes for these new plants, but for now they are acclimatizing to their new home in our kitchen.