My aroids don’t bloom all that often. So when they do, it is worthy of celebration.
This growing season I have had three of my Anthuriums produce inflorescences. This summer has been relatively cool and moist, which I am sure is a driving factor. I have shown pictures of my favorite species, Anthurium scandens before. It continues to send out tiny inflorescences for me year-round. This summer has been no exception.
Anthurium paraguayense is a bird’s nest style Anthurium with large leaves that have wavy margins. The inflorescence is quite boring, but on the plus side, there were two of them – the second about 3 weeks after the first. Had I been more proactive I could have saved pollen from the first inflorescence and tried to pollinate the second. Next year!
Anthurium verapazense is becoming one of my favorite Anthurium in my collection. The leaf shape is really nice and it puts out leaves at a pretty fast rate, compared to several of my other plants. I was expecting another boring green inflorescence and was really happy to find this vibrant magenta spadix!
I guess I should be watching for pollen on the off chance that I get another inflorescence to follow in the next couple of weeks.
This is the final episode of the 6 part series on the orchid show I attended in Wichita a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t already, read about the exhibits, slippers and Vandas, Dendrobiums and Encyclias, and uncommon orchids I saw there. This last post will just feature any pictures that I have left that I wanted to share. There’s not a real unifying theme among them.
First, I’ll show off the two plants I purchased at the show that I haven’t already shown you. I purchased a Holcoglossum wangii from Oak Hill Gardens. I have been seeing this genus for a while and knew that Oak Hill had a couple species for sale as mounted plants, so this was on my want list before I went to the show. We picked out a nice, full plant to add to my terete leaved orchid collection.
I’m sad to report that Oak Hill Gardens, one of my favorite orchid vendors, is closing their doors soon. They are selling their orchids to another grower and selling their property to a non-orchid nursery company or something like that. I have purchased more plants from Oak Hill than any other grower and I wish they were still going to be in business. They have reasonable prices and grow a lot of species orchids. They will be missed.
The other plant that I purchased and haven’t yet shown off is not an orchid, but an aroid. It is Anthurium marmoratum and is a really nice plant (above). I have only seen this plant for sale on occasion on eBay and it is always much more than I paid. I purchased this plant from Prairie Orchids. They also had some really nice velvet leaf Anthuriums in their exhibit (pictured below).
The largest genus in the orchid family is Bulbophyllum. I am not particularly drawn to this genus, but there are a couple of species that I like. Below is a Bulbophyllum with rather large flowers (for the genus).
The picture below is fairly representative, but there is just no comparison to seeing this plant in person. This jewel orchid, Macodes petola, looks like lightning is running through the leaves. It is really something to see, and this particular plant was very healthy and larger than any I had seen before.
There are people who are absolutely fanatical about Neofinetias. It is a tiny genus of just three known species, and yet there are hundreds of cultivars and intergeneric hybrids, including the genera Darwinia and Ascocenda. The most common species, Neofinetia falcata, is known as the “Japanese Wind Orchid,” and these plants are displayed in artistic displays and beautiful Asian pots like bonsai plants through Korea, China and especially in Japan. The flower of the pure species Neofinetia falcata is white, but cultivars have light highlights of pink, purple or orange. Hybrids can result in muted solid colors, like the plant pictured below.
I have started growing several Cymbidiums recently, primarily because they were given to me. I would like to be able to grow these well, but the culture is different enough from my other orchids that I don’t know if I will succeed. All of my Cymbidiums produce their blooms on upright stalks. Other Cymbidiums have pendulous bloom spikes that hang down from the plant, making these plants best suited to baskets or some other set up where the blooms will not just be laying on the ground. There was a nice pendulous Cymbidium on display in Wichita (below).
I hope you enjoyed my orchid show pictures. Stay tuned for some photos from the orchid show I attended in Oklahoma City a couple of weeks later!
A while back, I mentioned my purchase of Anthurium scandens. I was lucky enough to purchase the plant on eBay, only to be given one a couple of days later. At that time I was a little annoyed I had spent money on a plant, only to receive a larger one for free. But then a couple of months later, when my free cutting died, I was glad that I had purchased the original.
The feature that really drew me to this plant was the “woody” appearance. It has a “woody” look because it has persistent brown cataphylls. In laypeople’s terms, the stems of the plant have little brown sheaths that cover the green stems. Another cool attribute of the plant is the profusion of adventitious roots coming out of the length of the stem, as well as inflorescences at nearly every node. These inflorescences self-pollinate and bear white fruit (berries). It is quite remarkable, unlike any other aroid I have ever grown.
Anyway, the plant that I purchased, I still have. But it has barely grown for me and doesn’t have the distinct persistent cataphylls. Maybe this is just a variation or maybe my plant is just not mature enough yet. Time will tell.
Then recently, I received some seeds from a friend of Anthuriumscandens and now have little seedlings growing! I’m super pumped about these little guys.
I also got a cutting from Jason’s plant, who got his at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden at our MidAmerica meeting. So these are cuttings from the same plant that I had. I’m really happy to have this plant back in my collection and I looking forward to my seedlings becoming mature.
I have compiled a list of some of the velvetiest aroids there are. Not velvet Evlises, velvet aroids. When I speak of velvet aroids, the main criteria is the feel of the leaves. Some people describe a wide range of textures as being “velvety,” while others notice small differences in the textures that make them more “satiny” or more like velour. The feel of the most velvety aroids is made possible due to tiny hairs which reside on the upper leaf surface. Botanically speaking, this is referred to as velutinous (velvety) adaxial (upper) surfaces.
Most of my blog posts include pictures of my own plants, or at least pictures that I took while visiting some place with nice plants. This post is an exception. A majority of the pictures are being used, with permission, from various friends in the International Aroid Society. Many of these are from Enid Offolter, of NSE Tropicals. (By the way, Enid probably has the best selection of these plants available for sale.) Since I don’t own many of these plants, I have to rely on other people’s pictures and descriptions for classifying them as velvety or something similar. Which brings me to the secondary criteria for being on my velvet aroids list – which is appearance. Most (but not all) of these plants have an iridescence when you look at the leaves, due to their velvetiness. It is very prominent on some plants. Sometimes this feature doesn’t always show up well in photographs, but there are quite a few photographs where you can see this.
I decided that I would concentrate on two genera only for this post – Anthurium and Philodendron. There are certainly other aroids with velvety textures, although I do believe the most velvety aroids are from these two genera. I have mentioned others at the end, but I know that when I depart from these two genera, I have no chance of being comprehensive, especially with the gazillion cultivars of Colocasia and Caladium, which are somewhat velvety.
I should also mention that some of these plants change texture with maturity. For instance, Philodendron hederaceum is quite velvety in juvenile form, but eventually becomes glossy. Other species only attain the velvety texture when they reach maturity. Many times it is difficult to tell the differences in these different species, hybrids and cultivars, especially when you are switching back and forth between different websites. It is a little easier to compare them here, with them all pictured together. That was part of my impetus for writing this post. In some cases, seeing their pictures side by side makes you wonder how they are different species! (see Anthurium crystallinum and Anthurium clarinervium) But there are distinct differences as you train your eye and begin to look at other parts of the plant, beyond the shape and colors of the leaves. Enid Offolter has some expertise and tells me that the cross section of the petioles (3, 4 or 5 sided) can tell you a lot about these two plants and the various hybrids. There is a really good discussion (with photos) about identifying the differences between Anthurium angamarcanum and Anthurium marmoratumhere.
And now, on to the list…
If you clicked on that link above, you have already seen some photos of individual leaves of Anthurium angamarcanum, but below you can see a mature plant in all its glory. Beautiful.
I am not really familiar with this plant and haven’t heard of anyone growing it in cultivation. I only found a couple of websites with information on this plant. Since one of them is Tropicos, I know that it is a valid species.
This species is very hard for me to separate from Anthurium crystallinum (lower down in the post). So, how do I know which one is which? Well, here’s my method. If the veins on the leaves are so vibrantly white/gold that they are burning your retinas… that’s clarinervium. (Did you click that link? I did warn you.) If the veins are vibrant but your retinas aren’t in pain, more likely crystallinum.
This Anthurium has special leaves. They look like the skin of an elephant in their rough texture. At the same time, they look soft. See what I mean? There is a plant in the Alocasia genus with similar looking leaves, but they are very stiff and not velvety. That plant is Alocasia ‘Maharani.’
This is one of the few velvet plants that I own. I just bought it at the IAS show and sale in Miami last September. It is still a small plant, but it will one day be a huge and beautiful specimen (if I can keep it alive and happy). It definitely does not loose it’s velvetiness with maturity. In fact, this is probably one of those plants which becomes more velvety with age.
Sometimes this plant produces leaves with a closed sinus. The sinus is the upper opening on the heart-shape. A picture of Anthurium crystallinum with a closed sinus is shown on the Exotic Rainforest website, here.
As far as I understand, this plant is a cultivar of the species Anthurium crystallinum. That just means that there were some desirable traits of a certain plant and it was propagated (probably cloned via tissue culture) so that all of the offspring would have the same traits. It is usually just labeled Anthurium ‘Mehani’, but should really be labeled Anthurium crystallinum ‘Mehani.’
This plant is very uncommon in cultivation, but I did find a couple of nice photos.
This is not a common plant in cultivation and it looks very similar to some of the other velvet Anthuriums. I am told this one is more of a satiny texture.
According to Deni Brown’s book “Aroids: plants of the Arum family”, this might not be a species, but a naturally occurring hybrid. For the time being it is given species status. Here are a couple of links with some information on this plant: World Field Guide, Araceum.
This is one of those plants that is a little more satiny than velvety, I am told.
This Anthurium has large leaves whose leaves are strongly iridescent.
This is a strap-leaf, pendent Anthurium, with satiny iridescent leaves. I have a small seedling of this plant, but it’s nothing to look at yet. Here’s an excellent picture, and another here.
This plant blows me away. Check out those dark leaves with such an interesting shape. Very cool.
This is one of those plants that might be better described as satiny, as opposed to velvety. It certainly looks that way from the picture.
This is one of the more common velvet Anthuriums in cultivation (not that any of them are really common). It looks very similar to A. crystallinum, A. clarinervium and A. magnificum. The main difference in appearance, that I notice, is that the sinus of A. regale is considerably wider than any of the others. One of Steve Lucas’s photos has been immortalized on the latest International Aroid Society promotional brochures.
This is another of the strap-leaf, pendent Anthuriums. It has satiny leaves of a silver-blue-green color. There are also some really nice pictures of strap-leaved Anthuriums at the Palm Talk forum here.
This beautiful Anthurium is known for it’s long and slender leaves with velvet texture. It has been given the common name “Queen Anthurium”, while Anthurium veitchii is known as the “King Anthurium.” While both of these plants have long, slender leaves, the King Anthurium has a slick, glossy texture to the dark leaves.
Anthurium ‘Ace of Spades’
This plant is presumed to be a hybrid, but the parentage is unknown. The hybrid is believed to have originated in Hawaii and that’s about all we know. The most prominent characteristic is the bronze/red leaves, which you can see in each of the following images.
This hybrid is the offspring of a set of velvety Anthuriums, resulting in a really unique leaf shape and great, dark color. Look at the iridescence showing up on that lower right leaf. Beautiful.
This plant is of unknown origin. It might be a species or it could be a naturally occurring hybrid. It has large, satiny leaves and what appears to be raised primary veins on the adaxial (upper) leaf surface.
This is another Anthurium hybrid of unknown parentage. It came from a notable grower in India.
While in Florida I got a LOT of plants. Most of these were either aroids or orchids. First, let me show you the aroids I got.
This little Anthurium attracted me with its lanceolate leaves. It is a very healthy little plant and I look forward to seeing this grow into a mature specimen.
This is one of the velvety Anthuriums with prominent iridescent veins. Again, this is just a small plant, but if it likes my growing conditions then it will become a beautiful large plant within a year or two.
Aglaonema modestum variegated
This is actually the only Aglaonema I purchased at the show. There were a couple others that I eyed, but ultimately I ran out of packing room (and money), so I stopped with this one. It is one of the few variegated Aglaonemas in cultivation. Most Aglaonemas have interesting leaf patterns, with various shades of green and some silvers, but few have white patches like this one.
This is one I had never seen before. It is a beautiful Alocasia with dark leaves that have a rough texture and a rigidity unlike any of my other plants. I’m really hoping this isn’t a high maintenance plant, but it might be. For now it seems pretty happy, sitting in a very shady spot on the floor of my greenhouse.
Dieffenbachia oerstedii – no picture
I hadn’t heard of this Dieffenbachia before, but it was a species and it was from Dr. Croat, so how could I pass it up!?! Dieffenbachias are a really neat genus of aroids that I enjoy, though I don’t have too many in my collection. This particular species develops a strong white midrib at maturity, which is striking in contrast to the otherwise dark green leaves.
Christie and I both fell in love with this Philodendron and decided to buy it out of our general budget, rather than my plant allowance. Since then it has gone by the moniker of “family plant.”
The IAS show and sale is set up with the show plants in the middle of the room. Along one wall are vendors with plants for sale and along another wall are plants for sale that will benefit the IAS. Dr. Croat brought a bunch of items from the Missouri Botanical Garden for sale at the IAS show. These plants are either species that were wild collected or propagated from his wild collections.
Pinellia pinnatipartita (IAS show)
The one exception, I believe, was a big trash bag full of Pinellia pinnatipartitas, which I think Dr. Croat had yanked out of his yard to thin out his own crop. There was a sign on the bag, boldly announcing “Guaranteed success!” As if that weren’t enticing enough, they were marked $1. So, naturally, I got one. Taylor picked through the bag for me and found a really nice, large tuber and it was one that had just fruited, so I have a bunch of seeds in addition to the healthy tuber.
tubers of Pinellia ternata (IAS show) – no picture
Pinellias are one of the aroid genera with several varieties hardy in my zone. For now, I have potted these tubers of Pinellia ternata and put them in the greenhouse. However, I plan to plant them outdoors next spring and then let them stay outside for good. I want to develop a little garden of hardy aroids.
Rhaphidophorahayi (IAS auction)
This is really my first shingling aroid. I made up a tentative list of plants I would like to purchase at the IAS show before I left. Not really knowing what I would find, it was just a wishlist of things I was hoping to find. One of the items was “a shingling aroid.” There were some for sale, but I was overlooking them for other plants. Then there was one available at the auction and I ended up getting an excellent deal on this little plant, donated by Palm Hammock. It is now propped against the back wall of the greenhouse, where I am hoping it will start to shingle up on the brick wall of the house.
Now, here are the plants I purchased, which were not aroids.
Encyclia plicata (above) and Encyclia tampensis (below) – both from Ruben in Orchids
As mentioned in a previous post, I purchased two Encyclias at Ruben in Orchids. One of them (Encyclia plicata) had a long bloom spike with these really neat flowers (above) and was growing in a mesh basket. The other (below) was on my wishlist of plants to purchase in Florida. It is the “Florida Butterfly Orchid” (Encyclia tampensis) and the plant that I kept seeing all over my everglades boardwalk. It is a mature, mounted plant and had already finished blooming, with several dead bloom spikes on it when I purchased it. Next year I hope to have as many spikes as it had this last summer.
Dendrobium nobile (from R.F. Orchids)
I purchased two cheap orchids at R.F. Orchids – one a species Dendrobium nobile (above) and the other a hybrid Vanda. The Dendrobium was a collection of keikis that had been cut off mature plants and bundled together for $8. The Vanda is young now, but someday it should look like a mixture of the parents, which are pictured below.
Vandahybrid (V. Crownfox Black Forest x V. Judie McKemie) (from R.F. Orchids)
Dendrobium in bloom (from The Banyan Garden in the Keys)
There are still a couple of “trip reports” I plan to write in the coming weeks about special planty places I visited while in Florida. One of those places is called The Banyan Garden, which is located on the island of Islamorada in the Florida Keys. I bought this cheap and beautiful blooming Dendrobium there.
Phalaenopsis in bloom (from Redlands roadside stand)
I already told you about my steals in south Miami – orchid country. Here are their pictures, again.
Phalaenopsis (harlequin) in bloom (from Redlands roadside stand)
Harlequin Phalaenopsis are the “in thing” right now. The name refers to the spotting pattern on the flower petals. I’m told this is a generic term applied to dog and horse breeds, as well.
There were Silver Buttonwoods (Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus) everywhere in Florida. Most were trees, but quite a few were bushes or well-manicured hedges. We stopped to admire this beautiful tree at our very first lunch stop in Miami – on our way to the Everglades. On the last day of our trip, I took some cuttings from a couple trees in the Keys. The cuttings are now in a jar of moist vermiculite, hopefully rooting. I put some other cuttings directly in water and they quickly wilted. Since the cuttings in vermiculite still look fresh and happy I have high hopes that good things are happening. We’ll see in a couple of months.
Tillandias grow everywhere in southern Florida. I have never grown any myself, but I am hoping I will have some luck with these.
Cycads are very common in southern Florida. In many places they are grown so thick that they can be cut into hedges. The above picture is from our hotel in Key West, where they were being trimmed into rectangular hedges. These plants were “coning” like crazy and the seedlings were thick at their base.
Yes, I really did pack all of this in suitcases to bring home!