Monday, February 27, 2012

Lepanthes escobariana

Here is Lepanthes escobariana once again.  One of my favorite Lepanthes, it is easy to grow and the flower spikes produce flowers successively over a very long period of time so that the plant is always in bloom with very large flowers for the size of the plant.  It comes from Colombia and is named for a Colombian orchid grower, Rodrigo Escobar.  The flowers are about 2 cm tall and are arranged on long wiry spikes that grow from the leaf-base of single-leaved growths about 3-4 cm tall.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Masdevallia decumana 'Nancy' AM-CCE/AOS

This plant was given a cultural award in November when it had 22 flowers and 7 buds.  It bloomed again this month with 32 flowers and 8 buds.  I brought it in again for judging last Saturday at the Northwest Regional Judging Center and it was given two awards, an Award of Merit for the quality of the flowers and a Certificate of Cultural Excellence for the number of flowers.

This plant is incredible.  I have another Masdevallia decumana that produces a fair number of flowers every time it blooms but this plant goes crazy when it blooms.  I worry sometimes that it is going to bloom itself to death, but it seems perfectly happy and just produces another crop of flowers.  I grow it mounted on a cedar slab with a bit of moss and water it every day.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dryadella pusiola 'Erin' CHM/AOS

Dryadella pusiola is a tiny orchid species from Colombia.  The plant is about 5 cm tall and the tiny flowers are less than .5 cm.  The Dryadellas were at one time classified with Masdevallias but the genus was separated from Masdevallia and now contains a small number of miniatures species with flowers that are similar in shape to this, though they vary in size and coloration.  The genus is named rather aptly for the Dryads, the nymphs of the trees in Greek mythology.

This plant now has a clonal name and a provisional award from the American Orchid Society.  I brought it in for judging on February 18th to the Northwest Regional Judging Center in Seattle and it was given a Certificate of Horticultural Merit.  There was some question about its identity and so it has to be confirmed before the award is final.  I had kind of hoped that it would be given a cultural award but they wanted to know its identity first so that they could compare it to other plants of the same species.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Masdevallia Maui Lollipop 'Hannah' HCC/AOS

I've posted pictures of this plant and its flowers before and even though I don't grow many hybrids this is worth posting again: it is such a charming plant.  It's is a hybrid of Masdevallia mendozae and Madevallia Angel Frost.  It is most like Masdevallia mendozae, but has more erect flower spikes and a paler though brighter orange color, with slightly more open flowers.

This plant also has an award now.  At the monthly meeting of the Northwest Regional Judging Center in Seattle it was awarded a Highly Commended Certificate by the American Orchid Society and given the clonal name of one of my granddaughters.  The award is for flower quality and recognized the size and presentation of the flowers.  At the time of judging it had sixteen flowers and six buds.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dryadella cristata

This orchid species is really tiny, only 3 cm tall with 1.5 cm flowers.  Dryadella cristata is from Colombia and blooms in the winter here.  The genus, Dryadella, was separated from Masdevallia and contains approximately 30 species.  The species name of this plant refers to the crested petals, visible as blackish-purple bits in the center of the flowers.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Angraecum breve

This tiny orchid is from Madagascar, a country that has some very unique and wonderful orchids.  It belongs to a group of orchids that have white and green flowers and very long spurs.  It is also fragrant, especially at night, which means it is pollinated by night-flying insects who are attracted by the fragrance and who use the nectar for food.

I am totally charmed by this plant, however, both for its size, for its white flowers and for the spur which gradually uncurls as the flower opens.  Most Angraecums are large plants and some are huge. This plant is a little fan 4 cm (1.5 in.) across, the flower is 3 cm (1 in. plus) in size and the spur is over 10 cm long (approx. 4.5 in.) when the flower opens and it is fully uncurled.

It was an Angraecum, a different species and a much larger plant, with flowers carrying a 12 inch spur, that Darwin used to predict the existence of a moth with a 12 inch tongue. This flower is probably also moth pollinated.  I've included pictures of the unopened bud with the spur curled up and a pictures taken as the flower opened and the spur uncurled.