Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Masdevallia lamprotyria

An attractive and small orchid species from Peru, the flower is approximately 3 cm and grows on a 10 cm plant with narrow leaves. It blooms in the spring and when it blooms produces many flowers if it is happy.  Mine is grown in a net pot in live sphagnum.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Phragmipedium Cardinale 'Birchwood' AM/AOS

Son Edward won this plant at our society's annual Christmas dinner.  Its tag identified it as Phragmipedium schlimii 'Birchwood', which it clearly is not.  We've identified it tentatively as Phragmipedium Cardinale 'Birchwood' but if anyone knows better we would be happy to be corrected.  Phragmipedium Cardinale is a hybrid of Phrag. schlimii and Phrag. Sedenii, but we've discovered that the hybrids in this group all look very similar and that has made us unsure of the correct id.  Unlike some of the Phrags, it is a relatively small plant and we are growing it on a bathroom windowsill with some Paphiopedilums.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Barbosella australis

Barbosella australis is a rather common miniature orchid species from Brazil (the name "australis" means "southern").  It should be grown on a mount and forms a creeping mat of small 1.5 cm leaves and produces flowers that larger than the leaves, about 2 cm long.  I received this plant as Barbosella cogniauxiana from a vendor who ought to know better and was a bit annoyed to find that it was not correctly identified, though the flowers are beautiful in their own right.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Orchidarium Changes

A few days ago I added two more fans to my orchidarium.  I was having problems with spotting on the leaves of some Masdevallias, and I have always been a believer in air movement - good air movement solves most problems with leaf drop and spotting if the humidity is high enough.  I added them at the top of the case near the front sliding panels and they already seem to be making a difference.  The case badly needed cleaning and I was able to combine the addition of the fans with a thorough cleaning, something I do two or three times a year.

This makes a total of six fans in the case.  Four three-inch fans provide air movement and two four-inch fans blow down into the water at the bottom of the case and provide both air movement and humidity.  The humidity in the case never goes below about 70 percent and rises to about 90 percent after watering.  With the air movement, the humidity and the cool temperatures the environment seems to be about as good as I can make it for Pleurothallids and New Guinea Dendrobiums.

Someone asked if I would post some pictures of the plants and flowers in the case. That was a tough assignment, since the combination of harsh light, dark and light subjects, and air movement made it difficult to get decent pictures. These were the best I could do and I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures.