SOUTHERN ONTARIO ORCHID SOCIETY NEWS December 2009
SOUTHERN ONTARIO ORCHID SOCIETY NEWS
December 2009, Volume44, Issue 11
Web site: www.soos.ca ; Member of the Canadian Orchid Congress; Affiliated
with the American Orchid Society, the Orchid Digest and the International
Membership: Annual Dues $25 per calendar year (January 1 to December 31 ).
Membership secretary: Hesse Pommells 416-245-0369, #503-370 Dixon Road,
Weston, Ontario, M9R 1T2
Executive: President, Tom Atkinson 416-449-7907; Vice-president, Yvonne
Schreiber, 905-473-3405; Secretary, Sue Loftus 905-839-8281; Treasurer,
Elizabeth McAlpine, 416-487-7832
Honorary Life Members: Terry Kennedy, Doug Kennedy, Inge Poot, Peter Poot,
Joe O’Regan, Diane Ryley, Wayne Hingston.
Annual Show: February 13 – 14, 2010
Best display at ECOS
Orchidophiles de Montreal
Meeting Program Sunday, December 6: General Meeting to conduct elections, Annual auction, and
Pot luck social.
Election: Your executive is up for renewal. Our past president, Jay Norris proposes the following slate for
the next two year term: President: Yvonne Schreiber, Vice President: Don Wyatt, Secretary: Sue
Loftus, Treasurer : Liz McAlpine, Membership Secretary: Hesse Pommells, Directors: Peter Poot,
Editor, Max Wilson, Webmaster, Chee Chong, Jay Norris, Arto Izmerlian, Inge Poot, Marion Curry,
Laura Liebgott, Terry Kennedy, Wendy Hoffman, Henry Glowka, Tom Atkinson stays on as immediate
Annual Auction: This is your chance at some choice plants donated by outstanding growers. There will
also be orchid related items such as grow lights, cork bark, books and periodicals. Proceeds will be shared
between your society and the judging centre. Thank you for your donations!
Pot Luck Social: This is always a very popular event. So bring your favourite holiday dish to share and
pitch in with the set up and clean up.
Early Membership Renewal. To encourage early renewal for 2010 there will be two draws for two orchid plants
each time. 2009 Members renewing membership for the 2010 year who renew by the end of the November meeting are
eligible for the December and January draws. Anyone renewing by the end of the December meeting is eligible for the
January draw. A member is able to win only once. So, renew and get yourself a chance at an orchid plant.
SOOS President’s Remarks
Mario Ferrusi has a maxim by which he lives
insofar as SOOS is concerned. It is “What can I
do for the good of the society?”. This seems
simple enough. But it has resonance if you stop
and think about it. If we have certain abilities, do
we offer them up for the benefit of SOOS, or do
we let others do so? If we value the society and
the rewards which it brings, do we look for ways
to improve, enhance, and sustain it? So I
commend Mario‟s maxim to you in the days and
years to come.
It occurred to me a few months ago that SOOS
is predominantly a tropical orchid society. Much
as I might wish there to be a better balance, a
reality check says that this assessment is so.
There are at least 2 other aspects to SOOS of
which we need to be aware, and not lose sight.
They are judging and conservation. The former
does enter all of our lives with the show table,
and with our annual Valentine‟s Day weekend
show. Conservation of native terrestrial orchids
is part of our charter, and as you know we are
striving to restore orchids in areas around the
city. If this were the COS – Colombian Orchid
Society – and we all lived in Bogota, then the
native orchid aspect of the society would be
equal if not greater in magnitude than that of
other tropical orchids. But in Canada and in
temperate climates, alas, we have fewer of our
own to showcase. And for whatever reason,
many of these require very particular conditions
in which to thrive.
From the Atkinson garden
An unpaid gardener and orchid lover!
Hello fellow orchid lovers.
I bear tidings of great joy to all today – we have
a new president! All will be revealed at the
December 6 SOOS monthly meeting. As this is
the annual potluck Christmas party and auction,
here is even one more reason to mark the day
on your calendar or e-calendar. And do not
forget to bring a dish to share at the potluck, plus
a bag of money for the auction.
We have a suggestion box, and I do encourage
its use. From the Nov. 1 suggestion box we
received this thoughtful note: “My feeling is that
the meetings are now far too long. I believe that
it‟s taking an excessive amount of time to do the
show table. If this portion of the meeting could
be greatly reduced so that the total mtg. time is
no more than about 2 hours, I think a lot more
people would stay for the mtg.”. The point is
valid, and we do – several times a year –
recalibrate this part of the meeting to move it
along faster. When we have a guest who we
sweet talk (or coerce) into acting as our show
table expert, we do try to stifle any urge to
“gong” her or him. There are many features of
our society and our meetings which I myself find
more to my taste than the show table. But as
mentioned in an earlier issue of the newsletter, it
is very popular with many members. What we
suffer through at one meeting, others take
delight in. And as they squirm in another
meeting, we find the subject at hand fascinating.
Rest assured, the calibration does happen. And
keep those suggestions coming in, please! One
last thought on meeting length: we do try to start
them sharply at 1 PM, and most will be over by 3
PM or slightly thereafter.
It‟s been a rewarding 2 years, 2008 and 2009,
as your president. As my time in office ends, is it
cheers of thanks, or cheers of thanksgiving,
which I can just hear if I listen closely? This is a
demanding job, but one which I am very glad
that I took on. It has its ups, and it has its downs.
At times, I may have assisted members in some
fashion; at times, I know I have driven a few to
fits of apoplexy; for the latter, lesson learned,
and may the incidents never be repeated. Once
the president leaves office, s/he is “past
president” for the next 2 year term, so I‟ll be
around. And if ever you want to contact me in
[email protected] , 416-449-7907, or let‟s
talk at one of our meetings.
As I sign off as your president, I leave you with
these immortal words, as life imitates art:
Welcome New Members
Linda Will, Gary Pyper, John Van Rompu,
Jean and Jonathan Heath
Wayne Hingston will once again present his
excellent series on the culture of the most
popular types of hobby orchids. These sessions
are for members who have just started in orchids
and will be presented at the Toronto Botanical
Garden Board Room on the following Monday
evenings at 7 pm:
Niagara Region Show SOOS display by Don Wyatt and
photo by Henry Glowka
Don Wyatt and Henry Glowka volunteered to
put in this nice display at the St. Catharines
show. The display got 3rd. Place in the society
display class. Plants came together from a
number of members:
Dates are: December 14, 2009 and
January 11, 2010
Synea Tan; Dendrobium Maiden Charlotte, Best
Paphiopedilum Makuli 2 .; Phalaenopsis hybrid
John Spears; Dendrobium bigibbum, 2nd.
Tom Atkinson; Cymbidium hybrid, 1st.
5, Toronto Centre judging, Toronto Botanical
Garden, Judges training 10 am, Judging 1 pm.
Linda Gough; Yellow Cattleya, 1st.
Don Wyatt; Cattleya (Sophronites) cernua, 2nd.
6, SOOS meeting Toronto Botanical Garden 12
noon, General Meeting to conduct elections,
Annual auction, Pot luck social.
John Jurica; Prosthechea (Encyclia) Green
Hornet (Prosthechea cochleata x Prosthechea
trulla) 2nd.; Hybrid red mini Cattleya 2nd.; Hybrid
red Vanda, 2nd.;
(Brassocattleya) Chief Pink „Diana‟, 3rd.
14, Newcomers meeting, Toronto Botanical Gardens
Board room 7 pm.
cochleata, 2nd.; hybrid yellow Phalaenopsis, 2nd.
2, Toronto Centre judging, Toronto Botanical
Garden, Judges training 10 am, Judging 1 pm.
Monica Lee; Paphiopedilum Woessner Perle,
3, SOOS meeting Toronto Botanical Garden, sales 12
noon, program 1 pm.
Henry Glowka; Zygopetalum, 2nd.
Inge and Peter Poot took a display to the
Eastern Canada Orchid society show in
Montreal. That display took a second place in
the visiting society category.
11, Newcomers meeting, Toronto Botanical Gardens
Board room 7 pm.
31, SOOS meeting Toronto Botanical Garden, sales
12 noon, program 1 pm.
Plants were contributed by:
(Brassolaeliocattleya) Campobello Mendenhall‟
2 .; Odontocidium (Colmonara) Wildcat „Yellow
Butterfly‟, 2 .
13, Toronto Centre judging in conjunction with the
SOOS Valentine Orchid Show judging 8 am, Toronto
Jean Ikeson; Cattleya (Laeliocattleya) C. G.
Roebling 'Royal Purple' HCC/AOS, 1 .;
Cattlianthe (Laeliocattleya) Tricky Red 1 .;
13-14, SOOS Valentine Orchid Show, Toronto
Botanical Garden, 11 am – 5 pm.
genera is a “must have” for anyone who wishes
to identify the species with their current names,
or learn how to grow them properly. To round
out his interests our speaker has recently
acquired an interest in medicinal plants and has
just finished a book on that topic as well!
Cattlianthe (Cattleya) Sir Jeremiah Coleman
'Blue Moon', 2 .
Inge and Peter Poot; Neofinetia falcata, 2nd.;
Lepanthes telipogoniflora, 2nd.
Thank you all. Orchid shows and the displays
made with your plants help bring the orchid
hobby to the attention of the public and bring in
new members which benefits us all.
AOS Judging Results
Eastern Canada Orchid society show:
Rhyncholaeliocattleya (Brassocattleya) Chief
Pink „Diana‟ HCC – 79 points C. Chief Snow x
Rlc November Bride, Plant Exotica
Laelia (Schomburgkia) schultzei
Botanique de Montréal‟ - AM 83 points, Jardin
Botanique de Montréal
Stelis eublepharis „Conni‟s Star„ CCM –
points, Conni & Mario FERRUSI
Toronto Judging Centre, November 7:
Pleurothallis phalangifera 'Starry Crystals' CHM
81 pts. , Mario & Conni Ferrusi
Restrepia portillae 'Marsh Hollow' CHM 83 pts.,
Mario & Conni Ferrusi
Dendrobium niveum 'White Lightening' CHM 82
pts., Doug & Terry Kennedy
Lycaste macrophylla var. plana
photo Dr. Oakeley
Lycaste, Ida and Anguloa by Henry
Plants of the genus Lycaste are found from
Southern Mexico to Central America and some
are also found in South America. They have
forward pointing flowers in many colours from
white to red, brown, green, yellow and orange
and combinations of these colours. The lips
have wide side-lobes and may have hairs on the
lip and tepals; the mid-lobe is never fringed. The
distribution of the scent-producing glands or
osmophores is different in the various species.
Lindley separated this genus from Maxillaria in
1843 with Lycaste plana (now Lycaste
macrophylla var. plana) as the type for this
genus. Note: while he did not indicate a type – it
was not required in 1843 - he still had a type.
Oakeley (transcribed by Inge Poot, and edited
by Dr. Oakeley)
Our speaker is a psychiatrist by profession who
has been growing lycastes and anguloas since
1957. When he started growing them there were
20 species of Lycaste and 8 species of Anguloa
known to science. By now, even though the
genus Ida has been taken out of the genus
Lycaste, there are now 31 species plus 33
varieties of Lycaste known to science, as well as
39 species +11 varieties of Ida and 9 (or 10) +5
Anguloa - and those numbers exclude the
natural hybrids found. All this taxonomic activity
and confusion has resulted in over 300
synonyms! His wonderful book on these three
Ida is found in northern parts of South America.
The flowers are pendulous to hanging and have
very narrow side-lobes on their lips. Flower
colours are white, green and orange. The lips
have no hairs, but usually have fringed margins.
bend its petals over the front of the column and
in this manner shut the opening to the interior of
Underneath the sticky stigmatic cavity in the
yellow flowered Lycaste is a two-pronged
structure that catches the pollinia from the back
of the pollinator as the latter backs out of the
flower and pushes it into the stigma.
Anguloa is found in Colombia, Ecuador,
Venezuela, Peru, and Bolivia but not in Brazil.
They grow at elevations between 1,200 to
2,300m. The flowers are held erect, white or
yellow to red in colour, are tulip shaped and
have a hinged, tubular or boat-shaped, lip.
The first Anguloa species was discovered,
because explorers were looking for quinine
sources to combat malaria and found a lot of
orchids as well.
The three genera have also been shown to be
separate by DNA testing. Even the South
American Lycaste species are in the same
“clade” ( a clade is a group of species that
appear to have a common ancestor) as the
Central American Lycaste.
They can also be told apart when their
pseudobulbs are leaf-less. In Lycaste section
Aromatica, the leaves leave long sharp spines
behind when they fall off, but the leaves were all
carried close to the top with no noticeable length
of pseudobulb between the two leaves. In
section Lycaste, there is a noticeable piece of
pseudobulb between the two leaves, resulting in
a step-like arrangement of the top of the bare
bulb. In Ida there are no spines left behind by
the falling off leaves. In Anguloa the spines left
behind are shorter than those of the spined
Another difference is the structure of the pollinia
in the three genera. All have fairly long to quite
long stipes ( Note: Most Maxillaria species have
short pollen stipes, but some have equally long
pollen stipes as the three genera discussed in
the talk and all carry two pairs of pollen masses.)
The viscidium or sticky end differs in shape for
the three genera. Lycastes have rounded to
triangular viscidia, idas V or W shaped ones and
anguloas spear-shaped ones (often with two
basal barbs) or diamond-shaped viscidia.
The pollinating insect of Lycaste gets the pollinia
stuck onto its abdomen - in some species
between the segments of the insect‟s abdomen,
in Ida they get stuck just behind the eyes of the
photo Dr. Oakeley
In 1991, our speaker wanted to rediscover the
lost Anguloa uniflora because it was the first
species in the genus to be described, in 1794,
by the Spanish pharmacist/botanists Hipolito
Ruiz and Joseph Pavón, who had explored
Peru. He found it in 1997 in Tarma where it had
originally been found. Even today it is a lengthy
journey involving a flight to Lima, Peru, then a
When a Lycaste flower is pollinated its scent
production ceases within 24 hours and the lip
bends upward to close the opening to the interior
of the flower and later the lip shrivels and dries.
A pollinated Ida flower on the other hand, will
nine-hour, over-night bus trip across the Andes,
for even the closest of its current habitats.
The nomenclatural chaos in the genus Anguloa
started with the description of the type species! It
seems the author had both A. uniflora and A.
virginalis in front of him when he did the
description and it is only lucky that the type
material has been lost and only a drawing
remains and this drawing in definitely of A.
uniflora and not of A. virginalis. This drawing
has been designated the “holotype”. This
pictorial holotype is a substitute for the lost
herbarium specimen that should have served as
the “type”. Despite the published description of
A. uniflora, for the next 150 years all other white
Anguloa species were lumped into this name
resulting in a lovely mess! It is only since 1997
that all the species have been sorted out. It
should be noted that the above two species
need different culture. Both grow around 2,300
metres; A. uniflora will flower in somewhat shady
locations, but A. virginalis needs full sun or only
light shade to flower.
The definition of the genus Lycaste had its
problems as well. Lindley named the genus after
a beautiful woman from Trepanum in Sicily,
nicknamed Venus, not after a daughter of Priam,
King of Troy, as is often stated in books. The
genus that is really named for a goddess is the
genus Paphinia which is another name for
Venus. The first plant Lindley described as a
Lycaste was Lycaste plana in 1843 and this is
recognized as the holotype or lectotype for the
genus. Today, this species is considered a
colour variety of the very variable Lycaste
macrophylla. One of the reasons for confusion in
the species is that the seven-volume work of the
Flora Peruviana et Chilensis never made it past
the third volume. Along with the majority of the
orchids they discovered, L. macrophylla var.
alba, discovered by Tafalla (who continued Ruiz
and Pavón‟s expedition) in 1797, was supposed
to be in volume 7. The plant with the original
painting was eventually published in 2008.
photo Dr. Oakeley
The genus Ida is based on the species Ida
locusta, chosen in 2003 by Ryan and Oakeley.
The species was described as Lycaste locusta
by Reichenbach f., in the Gardeners’ Chronicle.
But the first Ida, Lycaste or Anguloa that
flowered in England was the Jamaican Ida
barringtoniae. It was introduced in 1790 by Lord
In most cases, lycastes and idas were described
in the genus Maxillaria until Lindley moved the
plants described by that time into the genus
Lycaste. Maxillaria (Lycaste) aromatica from
Mexico described in 1825 is a good example. It
grows at 2000m elevation on oak type trees in
dappled shade. Plants in heavy shade do not
Maxillaria (Lycaste) macrophylla was a problem,
since it supposedly occurred in both Costa Rica
and Peru. A plant from Peru was used as the
type by John Lindley in 1830 and since the
Most Lycaste species grow on mossy treetrunks.
Costa Rican taxon is not identical, this species
had to receive a new name, namely Lycaste
described by Lindley to be growing at 400m
elevation, beside a river to keep cool, but
exposed to full sun. The Costa Rican species
was found by our speaker at 800m, in dappled
shade, but not in bloom.
Mist jets can be used under the staging, with
fans blowing air through the mist, to keep the
plants cool and humid.
Most species need a lot of light. Fortunately it is
easy to tell if your plant gets enough light. If the
leaves grow horizontally, they are not getting
enough light. If the leaves are upright, they are
getting sufficient light.
The most famous Lycaste is Lycaste skinneri
collected by George Ure Skinner in 1840 and
painted by Mrs E Powell in 1841. It is native to
Guatemala in the Coban area, where it grows on
the bark of trees and is exposed to lots of
drizzling rain. What was known as L. skinneri var
ipala – amongst other synonyms, has been
elevated to its own species as Lycaste
guatemalensis. Lycaste skinneri also exposed
one of John Lindley‟s less endearing
characteristics – he never admitted an error. He
published Maxillaria (now Lycaste) cruenta as
Maxillaria (now Lycaste) skinneri in 1840 and
then in 1842 he published it again as Maxillaria
(Lycaste) cruenta, but never mentioned the
Potting as mentioned during the show table
discussion should be done in a loose mix of 50%
Perlite and 50% about one inch (3cm) pieces of
sphagnum moss. (Use scissors or shears to cut
the wet moss).
When re-potting, leave enough space for two
bulbs at the front end of the plant. If the compost
is still in good shape at repotting, take off the
compost at the back of the plant and add more
at the front.
Take off back-bulbs and use them to get more
copies of the parent plant. New plants will often
sprout from the abscission point at the top of the
pseudobulb. Lay these bulbs with plantlets
sideways onto the surface of the potting
medium, because the roots have no root hairs.
As they grow into the medium the new tips will
grow root hairs.
Dr Reichenbach was another famous botanist
with serious character flaws! He was rude and
vindictive and stole plants off Kew Herbarium
There are a couple Ida species which have been
confused. Ida (as Lycaste) gigantea has been
longipetala and Lycaste heynderycxii (now Ida
grandis). Ida fulvescens, a very floriferous
species with an orange lip has been confused
with Ida peruviana.
Most species have phototrophic flowers. This
means that the flowers will grow and orient
themselves to face into the light.
Species with short stems and phototropic
flowers will not need staking (just orient the plant
so the flower buds are emerging towards the
light). If they have long stems, they will need
staking as well to ensure that they are neatly
Most Ida and Anguloa prefer to grow terrestrially.
Most species of all three genera grow in cloudy,
misty damp places. The completely deciduous
species experience dry conditions when the
bulbs are mature. Plants of Lycaste section
Lycaste lose their old leaves when the new
growth is partly made up. Most Lycaste section
Aromatica and Intermediae lose their leaves two
to three months before the new growth starts.
Anguloa lose their leaves just before the
beginning of the growing season. Idas may keep
their leaves 2-3 years. In the rainy season it is
Species with long stems will have to have a fan
of stakes inserted as soon as the buds appear
and the lengthening stems will have to be retied
daily to achieve a pleasing presentation of the
flowers. The flowers of some Ida are not
phototropic and without staking these flowers will
face every which way.
If a wayward bud of a phototropic species faces
the wrong way anyway, then a black piece of
paper can be put behind it. The bud will turn to
face away from the black paper.
drawings and photographs of all the species and
natural hybrids, in order to have a useful
scientific record of the genera.
Leaves are phototrophic and this can be used to
have them out of the way of the flowers. When
the leaves emerge the plant should be turned so
that the light will make them bend towards the
back of the plant. When the buds emerge turn
the plant 180 degrees and the buds will face
towards the front of the plant and not be
obscured by the leaves.
February 12, Set up
13, Judging, show and sales
14, show and sales, take down.
Some phototropic flowers look better unstaked.
Just let them cascade over the side of the pot.
Your show committee under the able
leadership of Wayne Hingston is hard at
work. Invitations to sell and exhibit have
gone out and replies are flooding in. Now we
need the membership to step up and help
with set up, judging and clerking, security,
guiding, and coat checking.
The flowers of these three genera bruise very
easily. To get a plant to a show in pristine
conditions, bruising can be avoided by staking
the flowers far apart in a fan around the edge of
the pot. Remove the stakes when the plant is
staged. Another way to prevent bruising is to cut
a circle of paper a bit larger than the flower for
every flower, cut a slit in each circle down to the
centre and pin the papers around the ovary to
the back of the flowers, securing the two edges
with a paper clip.
Laura Liebgott will be doing the SOOS
members display for those who do not wish
to do their own.
If you would like to try your hand at
displaying your own plants, why not try to do
a basket display.
Peter Poot will have the sign up sheets for
the various volunteer jobs out at the
December meeting. We need lots of
volunteers to make the show run smoothly.
You can phone Peter at 905-640-5643 if you
One of the most famous crosses is Lycaste
Auburn. Unfortunately some strains are plagued
by a crooked lip that is hard to get rid of in
further hybridizing. The fault lies in one of the
parents used that had the crooked lip too.
We are again aiming for record attendance
so please advertise our show to your friends,
relatives and acquaintances. Coupons and
posters will be available at the December
The red colour seen in so many lovely hybrids
comes from the brown species such as L.
lasioglossa. The brown colour is produced by a
red overlay over a green segment. The breeding
then tries to suppress the green colour and we
are left with the red colour.
Ida costata has narrow leaves and is used to
reduce leaf size.
Lycaste dowiana is used to produce full and
equally sized sepals. Also the species is
summer flowering and shifts the flowering time
to a later month than the usual spring flowering
Our guest speaker, Henry Oakeley and Jay
Norris did a wonderful job discussing the show
table and below are some of the great cultural
tips that came out of the discussion.
John Vermeer had a colourful basket of minicattleyas to share with us and told us that he
pots his little beauties in a mix of diatomite and
The new Japanese hybrids with Lycaste skinneri
are getting incredibly full and colourful.
Dr Oakeley finished by emphasizing the
importance of keeping herbarium specimens,
A little Phalaenopsis violacea on the show table
led to the Eric Christenson observation that to
tell P. violacea from P. bellina you can use their
different fragrances. If the flowers smell like
lemon it is P. violacea (formerly the Malaysan
form of P. violacea with smaller, more evenly
purple flowers) and if they smell like “fruit-loops”
then it is P. bellina (formerly the Bornean form of
P. violacea, with larger flowers that have the
purple colour confined to the inner half of the
lateral sepals.).The plant had been kept warm,
constantly moist with rainwater and fertilized with
7-11-27 fertilizer with Calcium. Dr Oakeley noted
that some Dendrochilum species as well as
Ophrys insectifera change their fragrance to
attract different pollinators while the flower is
open and this indicated to him that variation in
fragrance was not a useful indicator for
separating a single species into two.
The Kennedys and Mario Ferrusi brought
several lycastes in bloom and our guest speaker
used them to give us a preview of some of the
points he later made in his presentation.
On culture, he feels they do best if grown in
equal parts of Perlite or Styrofoam beads and
sphagnum moss chopped into one-inch (2-3cm)
pieces. The medium should not be packed into
the pot, but put in loosely to allow air to get to
the roots. Use rain water to water and never let
the medium dry out. When repotting be sure to
cover the roots right away with a damp towel,
because if the root hairs dry out they are dead
and the root is useless until it grows longer and
produces new root hairs on the newly grown
part. When treated this way, the moss does not
deteriorate and can be just fine for at least two
years. The deciduous species do not get any
rain from November to the end of March and
have to make do with evening mists. Therefore
in cultivation they should only get a very light
misting daily during these months to avoid
rotting or drying out completely (although Dr
Oakeley just leaves them without water unless
the bulbs start to shrivel).
Oncidium Sharry Baby on the show table led to
a discussion on how to rid it of snow mould, a
fungal infestation that starts in the bark medium,
covers the bark with white water-repelling
mycelium and eventually covers the roots of the
plant repelling all water and nutrient uptake by
the orchid. The orchid will languish and
eventually just dry up and die. The only remedy
is to remove all infested potting medium, wash
off the roots with warm water and repot into a
mix of equal parts of cut sphagnum moss and
Comments on breeding included that the brown
Lycaste species are used in red breeding
because the brown colour is produced by a red
overlay over green flowers. L. cruenta, one of
the yellow species is used to improve the shape
of the progeny, because it has flat shape and
equally sized and shaped sepals. L. dowiana is
used to decrease plant size and give long
sequential blooming through the summer, and
often results in perfect shape. L. guatemalensis
is used to shift flowering time of its hybrids from
mid-summer to fall. There is a problem with the
lip of the famous, much awarded hybrid L.
Auburn, because one of the parental clones
used had a twisted lip. This character is very
hard to breed out.
Wendy Hoffman shared her so very successful
cultural methods for galeandras with us. The
plants are heavy feeders when in growth, but as
soon as the leaves start to yellow she backs off
with watering and stops fertilizing and when the
leaves fall off she stops watering altogether. If a
new growth comes before the leaves fall off, she
continues watering – and presumably, feeding.
Henry Oakeley told us that Dendrobium nobile
can get absolutely enormous if it gets high light
and heavy feeding while in growth. (Peter, my
husband, just happened to get confirmation of
this during this year when he ran out of bench
space for our various pieces of this species. He
hung one plant up near the roof of the
greenhouse and this piece instead of a one-foot
cane, produced a three-foot cane!)
The Plant of the Month is Paphiopedilum
Julius, grown by Synea Tan. The plant is
about six or seven years old and has many
growths and four gorgeous flowers. Synea says
that every second year this plant would produce
two spikes, so the 2010 show table will have
twice as many blooms!
Dendrobium Maiden Charlotte, a cross of D.
rhodosticta and D. aberrans was full of little
white flowers. This cross reblooms on old canes
again and again. It has to be grown warm and
wet all year.
Synea grows the plant on the south window and
summers it outdoors on the north side of her
house. The eaves protect the plant during the
sunniest hours in the mid-day, so the plant only
gets early morning and afternoon sun. The plant
grows in coconut husks, bigger size in the
bottom and smaller size on top. It gets watered
once a week with a weak solution of MSU
fertilizer - half-a-teaspoon per two gallons of rain
water - and occasional flushing with plain water.
Congratulations, Synea, on a job well done!
October 2009 Show Table by Iryna Bonya
Chiffon' AM/AOS x
Class 3 Phalaenopsis
and Vanda Alliance
Mikasa John Bob Jurica