I really like Encyclias. They have become my favorite orchid genus for a number of reasons. They have interesting, colorful, but not overly showy flowers. There is a wide variety of species and colors produced by these species. They grow well in my climate and with my care. They are decently attractive when not in bloom.
I have collected quite a few species and hybrids over the last few years, but I have only brought a small group into bloom. I have had multiple flowerings of Enc plicata since I purchased it three years ago. Otherwise, my plants have been growing, but not blooming. This year has been an exception.
These flowers look very different from the ones that were on the plant when I purchased it two years ago. The pot is large, with many bulbs, so I am thinking that it is possible I have two separate plants and the one that bloomed this year is not Gay Rabbit. Hopefully next year I will have multiple spikes and we can see if there are different plants in this pot.
These were my first blooms from Enc seidelii. I wasn’t expecting any since this is a small plant. The flowers themselves are small very striking. The pictures don’t really do them justice.
These are also my first flowers for Enc belizensis. They are primarily a creamy yellow with a white lip and touches of pink here and there. These are the largest flowers of the species I have currently in flower.
Since I had several species in bloom at the same time I decided to try my hand at hybridizing. I did it a little haphazardly right before leaving town. I just used my finger to remove pollinia from one species and move it to the next. It looks like some of the crosses are taking and seed pods are forming. If all goes well, I will send my pods off to an experienced hybridizer to germinate them and grow them out.
This is a really neat flower, due to the unique shape and colors, as well as the fragrance. I am told the regular species, Enc ramoense, has blooms that smell like Dr. Pepper. This particular cultivar was labeled ‘Dr Pepper’ so I guess it has a marked fragrance like that favorite beverage of mine. Anyway, we discovered something interesting about this plant. I couldn’t smell any fragrance from the flowers in my greenhouse. I brought the plant out to the picnic table on our back deck and smelled it a little later and – voila! It smelled like Dr. Pepper! I took the plant inside for Christie to smell: nothing. I took it back outside with her and the scent returned! It seems to be triggered by sunlight. I don’t know if this is a known phenomenon or not, but it sort of makes sense that plants could regulate a chemical reaction by sunlight.
My other Encyclia in bloom right now is a primary hybrid between Enc tampensis and Enc plicata. It has dainty blooms that are lightly fragrant with a chocolate smell.
Last, but not least, I want to show off some beautiful leaves. Encyclia guatemalensis hasn’t flowered for me yet, but these leaves are just amazing.
I imagine the colors would vary based on light conditions. I hope my leaves stay this color and I get some blooms next year.
As usual, my Enc plicata is now producing a bloom spike, so I should have flowers in August and September.