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Orchids


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Russelian clowesia


Epiphytic plant with ovoid pseudobulbs and plicate leaves up to 40 cm long, the pendent basal inflorescences carry up to 25 flowers with a diameter of 5 or 6 cm, pleasantly scented, with sepals and petals of a pale green color with dark green veins, while the labellum is whitish-green.
History: it was discovered in Guatemala by George Ure Skinner
in 1838, who sent plants to the Duke of Bedford a
Woburn, England, where it flourished for the first time in 1840.
Sir William Hooker described it as Catasetum russellianum
in honor of the Duke in the "Botanical Magazine" (t. 3777) in 1840.
C. Dodson transferred it to the genus Clowesia in "Selbyana" 1975.
Synonyms: Catasetum russellianum Hooker.
Etymology: The name Clowesia was given in honor of the Reverend John Clowes of Manchester who was the first cultivator to whom the type species of the genus flourished: the Clowesia rosea.
Origin: Mexico, Panama, Venezuela.
Habitat: Very bright, dry areas.
Culture environment: Intermediate and hot greenhouse.
Cultivation: The cultivation of Clowesia is the same as that of the Cataseturn, differing from these only because they have perfect flowers, that is hermaphrodites. In cultivation environments it is good to put into practice all the precautions to prevent snails and slugs from feeding on succulent inflorescences

Encyclia Mariae


Epiphytic plant with pseudobulbs usually gray-green in color, bearing two leaves. The inflorescences are normally arched with 5-7 flowers of about 8 cm of diameter and of long duration. The sepals and petals are of a
lemon-green and the very large tubular-shaped lip
white in color with rippled edges.
Region of origin: Mexico from 500 to 1200 m and from 1000 to 2000 m in the oak woods.
Crop environment: cool place in the intermediate greenhouse.
Cultivation: minimum winter temperature from 10 to 15 ° C. While the plant is in vegetation it needs in abundance water and a slight shade; after flowering and when the roots are mature, the plant benefits from a period of rest. The plant grows better if it is not exposed to direct sunlight.
History: It was discovered in 1937 by E. Oestlund in New Mexico near the Texas border.

Lycaste Cruenta


Epiphytic plant with pseudobulbs ovoid and yellowish ribs and deciduous leaves up to 30 cm long. The flower stems are born numerous at the base of the pseudobulbs and carry long-lasting fragrant waxy flowers with a diameter of 7-8 cm. The color of the sepals is yellow-green and that of the petals goes from bright yellow to yellow-orange. The lip bears crimson spots at the base.
Region of origin: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador.
History: it was the first species represented in the Botanical Register 1842 on table n. 13, and then described by J. Lindley as Maxillaria cruenta. Soon after, in 1843, Lindley gave rise, in the Bot. Reg., To the new family of Lycaste, adding to this also our species, and at the same time that until then known as Maxillaria skinneri. There was some confusion regarding the name of Lycaste skinneri (Bateman ex Lindley) Lindley, in which our bloody Lycaste was also involved, since at that time Lindley based his results only on Bateman's manuscripts and his dried flowers.
The first plants were discovered by Skinner in Guatemala and sent to Bateman; they flourished for the first time with Sir Charles Lemon.
Although the stem usually bears only one flower, we do not speak of scape but of inflorescence, since occasionally two flowers can also be produced, and the length of the stem, as well as the many bracts, confirm this interpretation.
Etymology: Lycaste was the name of a daughter of King Priam. Cruenta means blood red referring to the red spot on the labellum.
Habitat: Especially on the slope from the Pacific side; on trees along rivers, preferably at heights between 800 and 1800 meters.
Culture environment: Temperate / cool.
Cultivation: The Lycaste, "which lose their leaves" if treated according to their native conditions, can give a lot of satisfaction to the amateurs. The plant loves a place in half shade with a good and constant current of air. The leaves must be protected from direct sun rays, and a position in the shade of taller larger plants is preferable. In winter the bloody Lycaste requires a clear and fresh place. In spring the buds appear together with the flower stems. During this time you need to start watering, but be careful because the shoots are extremely sensitive to water. From this moment the plant needs a warmer place. After flowering the growth begins, during which the plant needs an abundant humidity for the complete maturation of the leaves and the bulb. During the summer months, when the weather is more favorable, the plant can stay outdoors. In late autumn, when the shoots have fully ripened, the leaves fall and the resting period begins, but it is still necessary to provide for a sufficient atmospheric humidity. A few weeks before flowering, the bloody Lycaste must be (temporarily) completely dry, but in the morning hours it must be lightly vaporized.
Temperature: in winter the minimum night temperature must be around 12 ° C; while the maximum can reach 28 ° C, depending on the season and the weather outside. Our species can be grown in pots or in baskets with good drainage; osmunda, mexifarm, xaxim or bark are suitable, and it is advisable to add dried beech or oak leaves. The plant can also be tied horizontally on bark, but be careful to provide it with the necessary moisture. Fertilize only during the growing season, approximately every 2 weeks. Following these notes carefully, the bloody Lycastas can also be grown on the window sills inside.

Paphiopedilum venustum


The Paphiopedilum venustum has silvery gray leaves, with dark green spots more or less accentuated on the upper page, while the lower page shows a purple speckling in correspondence with those of the upper page. The vegetations develop side by side, thus giving rise to compact plants. The 15-20 cm tall stem carries a flower, sometimes two, with a diameter of 8-9 cm. The dorsal sepal is characterized by marked green veins on a white background. The labellum has a typical dark green vein on a cream-colored background. The petals are green at the base, changing to orange to end in red at the apex. On these colors there are dark green veins and brown more or less intense spots depending on the origin of the plant. This species is in fact widespread in a very large area (Bangladesh, Assam, Nepal) and therefore has a great variability, so that some authors have described numerous varieties, while others consider the variants only cultivar related to the environment.
History: it was discovered by dr. Wallich in Sylhet (Bangladesh) in the early years of the last century. It was later introduced into Europe from the Calcutta botanical garden, by the English firm Witley, Brames and Milne near whose greenhouses it flourished. With this material he was described by Sims in 1820. This species was one of the first to be used to obtain an artificial hybrid, Paphiopedilum x Crossii (P. venustum x P. insigne) obtained from Cross, in 1871.
Etymology: from the Latin "venustum", beautiful.
Habitat the regions where P. venustum grows are subject to the South-West monsoons, which bring heat and humidity in the summer (18-32 ° C). From the end of October, the north-east monsoons prevail, lowering the temperature somewhat (5-20 ° C). Moisture touches the annual minimum in January, when the rains are very low and the humidity necessary for the plants is assured by the constant haze. This species lives in very humid and humus-rich soils, in dense forests, at the foot of trees, and on steep walls along water courses.
Cultivation: like the others Paphiopedilum must be cultivated in a well-drained compound, which lets air circulate between the roots and which must never dry too much. A period of light rest from November to December with lower temperatures and reduced watering favors flowering.

-" title="Catasetum Macroglossum Rolfe ">Orchids: Catasetum Macroglossum Rolfe


Similar to the Catasetum viridiflavum and the Catasetum oerstedii with robust pseudobulbs and broad leaves, the erect inflorescence bears fleshy green flowers; the labellum is superior, with petals and sepals slightly bent backwards.
History: in November 1911 W. Fox found a Catasetum on the trunk of a tree in an Indian house, near the Garaparana river (a tributary of the Putumayo in Perщ). He took this plant to Kew, where it later flowered, and was described and recognized as a new species by R.A. Roye, then curator of the botanical garden.
The description appears with a color illustration in the "Botanical magazine" (vol. 139, t. 8514, 1913). The species is close to both Catasetum bicolor Klotzoch and Catasetum callosum Lindley. Catasetum microglossum is pollinated by bees that are attracted by the scent. There are no data or information regarding the composition of the perfume and the breed of bees.
Etymology: from the Greek Kata and from the Latin seta, referring to the two appendices at the base of the column in the male flowers, macroglossum from the Latin: small tongue, in reference to the size and shape of the labellum.
Region of origin: in the eastern slope of the Andes in Perщ. Habitat: preferably in light and sunny places on isolated straight trees, poles or similar.
Culture environment: warm greenhouse.
Cultivation: the cultivation of the Catasetum microglossum requires a very clear and sunny place, the temperatures of the day can arrive without risk at 30 ° C and more, while a night heat at about 18 ° C is sufficient. The plant supports the scorching sun (without shelter), and must not be shaded; the more it receives sun during growth, the more it will have female flowers, while with more shade it will give male flowers.
As a substrate it adapts well to a permeable compound of bark and fern fiber; an addition of sphagnum is not advisable because it retains too much water and the roots and sprouts tend to rot easily. During growth it must be watered regularly because the plants need a lot of water, and the soil must never be completely dry.
During growth it can be fertilized.
After the shoot of the year has fully ripened, in autumn, the plant drops all the leaves, a normal condition, and at the same time the rigorous rest period begins. The plants are then placed in a cooler position and kept absolutely dry, until the new shoots appear and they will have reached some centimeters in length. Only then will it restart to water regularly.
Plants can be propagated by division at the end of the vegetative cycle, therefore at the beginning of the rest period; the 'fragments' must in any case include 2 bulbs.
The Catasetum macroglossum can, like all Catasetum, also be grown at home and does not need a greenhouse at all. It flowers in cultivation especially in July / August, but depending on their origin, even in September. The flower lasts a week and is not suitable for cutting.
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