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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
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    10

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    Very nice Arron, our Orchid Shows don't seem to have as many entries this year. We think it's because it has been hot and dry this year. it's 18 degrees here at the moment. that's the coldest since last year. Oh, by the way, My Laelia Anceps bloomed a day late this year with 3 beautiful lilac and blue flowers on the stem and will probably stay out for another month. It keeps my wife off my back and allows me to talk to my orchids.
    Cheers, Don.
    Last edited by hendosay; 25th Jun 2016 at 02:53 PM. Reason: no gap between words

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  3. #17
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
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    2,934

    Default And more

    With temperatures where I grow the orchids close to freezing point on some of these colder nights, I think they really struggle. Its hard to find orchids with a temperature tolerance that can match our growing conditions (like 0 to 43 degrees). Heres the latest two to flower.

    This is one of the endless number of crosses between miltonia and something else in the odontoglossum alliance. I've lost the name tag. Anyway, its possibly the most boring flower on earth, boring because once it opens it stays that way for at least three months, long after any interest in it has faded. Until I grew it, I never realised how important transience is to the appeal of a flower.

    milt.jpg

    And this one is a Ondotoida, a cross between an odontoglossum and a small genus of Andean orchids called Cochloidea. Coming from the Andes, Cochlidea imparts temperature tolerance to the hybrids.

    odontoidea.jpg

    Only a couple more not opened yet.
    cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  4. #18
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,934

    Default Spring flowerers start

    In case anyone is still interested ...
    The spring flowering species are starting now. This one is a Coelogyne hybrid. Its usually sold as 'unchained melody' or something similar. I mentioned it previously as one of the few exotic orchids which are perfectly adapted to growing outdoors in Sydney. Being an epiphyte, it will grow quite happily wired to the trunk of a garden tree - though it may require more water then nature provides.

    Its a hybrid of Coelogyne cristata and something else - cristata has larger flowers and is more spectacular but seldom thrives in Sydney (too hot in summer) so its been hybridised with a warmer growing species to give it greater temperature tolerance.

    I seldom see these for sale in regular nurseries and I don't understand why these aren't more popular. All they really need to do well is to be potted like any epiphyte and given some slight shade and they are otherwise bulletproof. They can be reproduced endlessly by cutting away a few connected bulbs and repotting. They don't even seem to have any naturally occurring pests or diseases when grown in Sydney.

    coelongyne.jpg

    cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  5. #19
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,934

    Default More Sydney springtime flowerers

    Here's some more spring flowerers.

    This is an oncidium. OK, I know it dosent look real pretty, but its much nicer in the flesh then it is in the photo. I took the photo in haste on my phone just before going away for a holiday and now its gone off a bit so I cant retake it.

    There are two things that are outstanding about this plant. The first is that I've had this plant for 17 years and this is the first time its flowered. Why I put up with it sitting there not flowering for 17 years I dont know. Maybe because it is so undemanding, at least for vegetative growth, though obviously it needs very particular conditions to provoke flowering.

    The other thing thats outstanding about it is the size of the flower spikes. This one plant has 6 flower spikes and they average 1600 mm long. The flowers are all along the length of the main spike, on short secondary spikes, or sometimes on tertiary spikes (short spikes growing off the secondary spikes). At least 600 flowers in total, though I'm not about to count them.

    oncidium.JPG



    And this next one is a 'nobile type dendrobium'. There are thousands of cultivars of the soft-cane dendrobium with the latin name Dendrobium nobile - all basically pink or white flowered with a darker throat. I've owned lots over the years and until recently all of them have failed fairly quickly. Quickly in orchid terms is relative, it usually takes at least a couple of years for a mistreated orchid to die completely.

    Its always seemed strange that mine fail as most people report reasonable success with them in Sydney conditions. Anyway, I've finally cracked growing them in our environment and I think it mainly comes down to providing lots of air circulation (though you still need to provide good shelter from cold winter winds).

    There is nothing pretty about them when they are not flowering so I guess that puts most people off them. This one is a young plant with a small flower spike.

    dendrobium.JPG



    The Brassias should be next. I can see they are setting themselves up for a very impressive display.

    cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  6. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Cedarton
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    4,888

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    Superb stuff Arron
    Please keep those pics coming...MM
    Mapleman

  7. #21
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
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    2,934

    Default Brassias at last

    When I started this thread back in April I mentioned that there were three exotic-looking orchids that do really well in the Sydney climate, and only three (that I know of). This is the last of these to flower. Its Brassia longissima.

    It grows well in Sydney climate, flowers profusely almost every year, and it seems there are no pests or diseases interested in it at all.

    The flower, with sepals and petals which spread 200mm, is what an orchid flower should be - pointlessly overindulgent. I guess it must appeal to some kind of pollinating wasp or stick insect or something.

    This is pretty much the wild form, there are various select forms with much larger flowers. I've only seen these select forms at orchid shows so I guess they are only really suited to a specialised setup such as a hard-core orchid grower might have.

    I notice there is one more plant in spike - another mitonia hybrid. Then the summer rest. Very few orchid species flower in summer.

    cheers
    Arron

    brassia.JPGbrassiacloseup.JPG
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  8. #22
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,934

    Default Last for the year

    Well the last orchids for the year have opened.

    I mentioned previously that there were only 3 species of truly tropical-looking orchids that thrive in the Sydney area (Cymbidiums aside), but I think maybe I forgot this one. This is a Stanhopea. Thrown out on council clean up day by a neighbour and rescued by me. It was in a dessicated state and almost lifeless - I guess the owners just didn't know what it was and how to look after it. A little bit of care and a lot of water has bought it back, but typical orchid nothing happens quickly so its taken about 10 years for it to recover and be healthy enough to flower again.

    Stanhopeas are very much atypical orchids. The flower spikes emerge straight downwards - spearing through the bottom of the hanging basket. The perfume they produce at first is heady to say the least, like a very strong and sweet vanilla, but as the flower dies it turns into an overripe banana smell. And finally, unlike most orchids the flower duration is very brief, usually just a day or two.

    stanhope.JPG

    And this is Miltassia shelob. Its obviously derived from a Brassia, as shown in my last post.

    Shelob is the giant spider from a Tolkein book. It does look spidery and not to everyone's taste. 180mm flowers, but not a lot per spike. I suppose I regard it as marginal, worth keeping as long as it flowers but not something I would work hard for. I bought it when we had a holiday rental place and I just wanted something bulletproof to provide some interest and a bit of faux-tropical appeal.

    shelob.JPG

    And I think that's it for the year. I notice that now the Laelia anceps spikes are starting to emerge, which kind of brings us back to where I started this thread early last year, so I guess I could have called this thread 'a year in orchids in a marginal climate'.

    I realise not many people have participated in this thread but growing orchids is not exactly a mainstream hobby so I expected that.

    cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  9. #23
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,934

    Default

    One year on and I thought I was done with this thread, but I have some more orchids blooming so why not show them.

    The first one is Coelogyne cristata. It has large, crystalline looking white flowers, up to ten per spike, and multiple spikes per plant. This is the third time Iíve tried to grow it - the previous ones died fairly quickly. Itís unusual in requiring cool temperatures. Sydney is too hot for it unless you nurse it through summer. Comes from the Himalayas.

    You can see the mistakes in care in the plant behind the flowers. Brown leaf tips from too much fertiliser and generally scrawny looking pseudobulbs from excessive heat and inadequate humidity. Youíd have to conclude itís only just hanging on to life.

    I would define this species as unpredictable, at least from a culture perspective, which I guess is why they are not more common.

    65670D76-CB14-447F-99FE-1CB4EF071F27.jpg

    And this is another Tolumnia. These things are now hybridised in such variety that breeders donít even bother to name or register the hybrids - just give them numbers. This one goes through life as #169. Itís a hardy little epiphyte from the Caribbean that is seasonally draught tolerant. I like the watercolour effect on the petals.

    Easy to grow but still very hard to buy.
    4F631D29-31BD-4DB6-A047-4645B932308F.jpg


    Cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

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