My local orchid club, Oklahoma Orchid Society, held our annual show and sale on Mother’s Day weekend. I took off work on Friday to help set up and then ventured back on Saturday with Christie and Myla to enjoy the show. It was a small show, as usual, but nice.
I carried Myla around while Christie took photos for me. First, I’ll show off the Dendrobium.
A couple of nice Cymbidium.
Miscellaneous other plants.
There were a total of eleven plants pulled out for AOS judging (including the one pictured above). One of those eleven plants (a Paphiopedium) was awarded an HCC.
I have already posted about a dozen photos from the OKC Orchid Show, so check those out, if you haven’t already.
Just like there are “Vanda People” and “Slipper People,” there are “Catt(leya) People.” I have to say that I am not one of those people. Cattleyas tend to be large flowers that are kind of frilly like bearded Irises, and they just don’t appeal to me that much. That being said, I do enjoy some Cattleyas, mainly the spotted ones, and I am posting photos of those.
Brassavola nodosa is a popular orchid that is known for its fragrance, but only in the evening. There are several cultivars or hybrids made with this species, including Brassavola Little Stars (below).
By far the coolest thing I saw at the show was the Dendrobium Black Spider. I haven’t ever seen a black Dendrobium, or really anything close to this dark. When I was helping tear down the exhibits on Sunday I complimented the grower on her black Dendrobium and she kind of shrugged and didn’t say anything. I guess some people are less interested in discussing their plants than others. Or maybe she was just tired from the weekend…
I don’t know whether Encyclias are more popular around here than I had previously thought, or if I am just paying more attention to them this year, or if this is just a really good blooming year for them. Whatever the case, there were many Encyclias on display in Wichita and in Oklahoma City.
The plant above is the species Encyclia alata and the plant below is a primary hybrid of Encyclia alata and Encyclia mooreana. Both are awesome plants.
The large primary hybrid above and the species below were both featured as the centerpiece of their respective displays. In fact, that photo above was taken before any of the rest of the plants were in place. (I wouldn’t have been able to get such a picture of just this plant once the exhibit was assembled, because many other plants were crowded around it.
Don’t you just love the colors of the Encyclia hanburii (below)? Just awesome!
The odd ball Encyclia at the show is one of those that keeps getting shuffled around taxonomically. It has been in several different genera, including Encyclia, Anacheilium, Prosthechea and, of course, the original catch-all genus Epidendrum. According to orchidspecies.com, which is what I normally consider the authority, it is currently classified as Anacheilium radiata.
I hope you enjoyed your virtual participation in the Oklahoma Orchid Society show. If you’re in the area, you should try to attend in person next year. We always have our show on Mother’s Day weekend at the Will Rogers Garden Center in Oklahoma City.
Over the weekend, we traveled to Wichita, Kansas for the Kansas Orchid Society’s annual show, which was in conjunction with the spring meeting of the American Orchid Society. Whenever the AOS meeting coincides with a regional show, it is a big affair, with more plants on exhibit and more vendors present. Some of my good plant friends from neighboring states converged on Wichita, so I got to spend time with plants and friends, which made for a really fun weekend.
Since I have so many pictures and so much to talk about, I am going to split this post into a several different posts, the first concentrating on the exhibit highlights.
For the first time, I sent a couple of my blooming orchids for inclusion in the Oklahoma Orchid Society’s exhibit. Both of my orchids (Dendrobium Little Green Apples and Polystachya paniculata) were given 3rd place ribbons, so that was encouraging.
I have heard about Andy’s Orchids for a while. It is probably one of the five most popular orchid vendors online. They have a lot of species available and generally have pretty reasonable prices. Most of their plants are mounted on sticks, which is nice, too.
Andy’s Orchids had a really nice “exhibit by a commercial grower.” My friend Steve told me it was put together at their business and shipped in a box filled with packing peanuts. When they got to the show, they just opened the box, pulled out the structure and let the peanuts fall away.
The exhibit consisted mostly of intermediate to cool growing orchids, including Masdevallias down near the bottom and at the top a couple of orchids from the genus Cochlioda, a new genus to me.
Two gentlemen that must have huge orchid collections put together this single amazing display that was gigantic. Can you believe how many blooming orchids are in the photo above? That is a lot of really nice orchids. It took several visits by this exhibit to really take it all in. Actually, scratch that, I doubt I took it all in, even after several visits.
These couple of photos are not really the highlights of their exhibit. They are just plants that I was really interested in. The above Epidendrum was just an oddball and that’s why it was interesting to me. Do you see the blooms? They are kind of discrete.
The Epidendrum above is native to the southeastern United States, found as far north as North Carolina. It can withstand a light freeze and prefers to live in Magnolia trees, hence the name Epidendrum magnoliae. I would like to try growing this orchid someday.
If you grow Cattleya orchids well, they will reward you with a lot of blooms. If you grow them really well, they will build an army of flowers determined to march to the nearest orchid show and demand a first place ribbon.
The most highly awarded plant had a totally green flower, with a little bit of yellow on the column. The plant is Ida locusta and it was given the HCC award (Highly Commendable Certificate), which you can see in the lower part of the picture.
I have a number of mounted orchids in my collection now, so I thought I would post about those orchids specifically, even if some of them have been shared before.
The first is my “cucumber” orchid, Dockrillia cucumeria, which I purchased in February. It started to get crispy outside in our scorching 100+ days from June to August. I brought it inside, where it seemed to be happier, but it couldn’t recover from the heat, and eventually died. I am finding that the mounted orchids (not surprisingly) dry out more quickly than the potted orchids. This is good and bad. It is more similar to the natural habitats of epiphytic orchids, but it also requires that I stay on top of watering. With these mounted orchids inside, it is pretty easy to do. I have been keeping a couple of these hanging in the bathroom window and the kitchen window, where sinks are readily available and where I am seeing them several times a day. I will try to obtain another of these little cucumbers, because it really was a favorite of mine.
I have one other of these small, succulent type orchids, Dendrobium lichenastrum v. prenticei. This one is also mounted on a piece of small cork bark. Where as the previous plant looked like little cucumbers, this one is smooth and has yellow flowers when it blooms. So far it has been doing well in our kitchen window, with about 5 other mounted orchids. I see this constantly and water them when I am washing dishes.
My Dendrobiumpachyphyllum is a new addition that is mounted on a compressed fern slab. This stringy glob of orchid won me over on three accounts: 1. It has that stringy, “don’t try to tame me” look. 2. It is kind of woody, which has a permanence and toughness that I really like. 3. It’s a Dendrobium species. While Dendrobiums are one of the more common orchids you can find (2nd to Phalaenopsis in terms of grocery store prominence), there is a HUGE variety of Dendrobiums and I am collecting some of the more obscure ones. The flowers of this Dendrobium are discrete little short-lived light pink blooms that come along the stems all over the plant – a prolific bloomer. They are supposed to smell sweet.
These next two plants (above and below) were the first mounted orchids I purchased. Both are mounted on a simple slat of wood, with sphagnum moss wrapped around the roots. The plant above is the first Encyclia in my collection. It hasn’t bloomed yet, but it has been growing steadily this summer and I understand that it blooms from fall to early spring. So I am hoping to keep it happy in the coming months and be rewarded with the first blooms.
This is one of the few fragrant orchids in my collection. Sedirea japonica is noted for it’s really unique small white blooms with purple bars. These blooms tend to hang below the plant and are supposed to smell amazing. My plant didn’t bloom this summer when it should have, so I am hoping for a bloom next year.
The genus Panarica is closely related to (often tagged as) Encyclia. So I actually bought this plant with the name Encyclia brassavolae. This one is mounted on a heavy and thick piece of wood that the seller called a “cedar plaque.” There is some media that might be coconut fiber/husk or something like that, so that some water can be absorbed and held near the roots whenever I water this one. I might have to modify this and add some sphagnum moss since I suspect my humidity is too low to keep the plant happy with this mount. The flowers of this species are really cool. Picture an anorexic yellow starfish wearing a white hat with a pink feather in it. Or just look at this picture and make up your own analogy.
The plant pictured above was on my want list for a while. I kept seeing really nice specimen-sized (large) plants available on eBay and they would go for big bucks (>$40). I held out until I got a smaller plant for about $10. This is a neat plant because of how it wanders and the blooms are born all along the creeping rhizome, unlike most Bulbophyllums which have long blooms spikes with lots of blooms clustered together. I also like the woody look of the stems. My plant is a collection of 2 or 3 cuttings tied to a twig raft.
The orchid pictured above was actually collected in the jungles of Belize years ago (when it was legal to do such things). It is a common orchid among collectors, Brassavola nodosa and is mounted on a slab of cypress wood.
This Cattleya pictured above is the one orchid I have which I mounted myself. I received the orchid as a gift when I joined the Oklahoma Orchid Society. It was a tiny little plant. To be honest, I’m not a big Cattleya guy myself. It was a little plant and I had a piece of drift wood that I wasn’t using, so I thought, “What they heck! Let me give it a try.” It has been doing pretty well on the driftwood. It survived our scorching summer heat, so that’s a good sign.
While we were in Florida, I was on a mission to purchase some Encyclias, especially the well-known Florida-native “Butterfly Orchid”, Encyclia tampensis. I saw many of these growing wild in the Everglades and then I found a really nice one mounted on tree fern at Ruben in Orchids. It looks as though it had bloomed on at least 3 different spikes recently and it was well rooted into the mount.
A good friend of mine attended the recent American Orchid Society show in San Antonio at the end of October. While he was there, he scoped out the available stock of orchids and aroids and sent me some information on plants I like to grow. He was generous enough to purchase two Encyclias for me and drop them by my house on his way home to Arkansas. Both of these little Encyclias are fragrant when in bloom and mounted on little wood planks by Oak Hill Gardens – one of my favorite orchid sellers.
About a month ago my parents-in-law returned from a trip with a couple of orchids for me and one that my mother-in-law was keeping for herself (or so I thought). In actuality, she was keeping the last orchid for my birthday. But she showed it to me at the time – in bloom – and held on to it until my birthday to give it to me. I’m glad I took a nice picture of it in bloom at the time! This is a really neat TINY hybrid with the name Ornithocephalis iridifolius x Zygostatus alleniana. That “iridifolius” part means that the foliage looks like an iris. It has that characteristic fan appearance, but on a very tiny scale.
Jason gave me a division of his Maxillaria variabilis a couple months back. I decided to try mounting it on a section of bark I had from a local tree. I don’t know of anyone doing this. My guess is that the people don’t do it because you need a really durable bark that won’t break down over time, so there are only a few options available. This mount will probably not last a long time, but it’s worth a shot, in my opinion. For now, the orchid is just laying on top of the bark, with a wad of sphagnum moss on top of the roots. Hopefully in a couple of months the roots will have bitten into the bark. My favorite thing about this little orchid? It has been blooming non-stop, since I got it.
Now we make it to the fifteenth and final mounted orchid in my collection. Last, but certainly not least. This is Dendrochilum stenophyllum, one of the “chain orchids.” According to the wikipedia page, “These orchids are popular among fans of non-traditional orchid curiosities.” I guess that sums up my interest, huh? Anyway, this species is notable for it’s very grass-like foliage and it’s miniscule flowers which grow on a stem about the length of the leaves. My plant is mounted on a piece of canvas wrapped around a section of PVC pipe. I think it’s a curious mounting system. The really good part is that the PVC holds up over time and won’t be slowly breaking down. However, the canvas has long since broken down, leaving the PVC very exposed. I don’t mind the white showing, but I might try to cover it up at some point in the future.
Many orchids bloom in the spring and subsequently start new growth. This year my orchid collection grew quite a bit. Some of the orchids I purchased while they were in bloom or just after they finished blooming. It will be almost a year before I get to see if they will bloom for me. In the meantime, there is a good sign in that many of my orchids are producing new growth.
I’m still holding out hope that the Bepi above will bloom for me. The bloom spike is still present, just emerging from the center of the plant, but it is doing so ever so slowly.
Most of my new orchids are sympodial, which means that they produce offshoots, rather than continuing on the original growth. Above you can see a tall, new “lead” growing from the side of my Blc ‘Golden Tang.’ This is a Cattleya hybrid, more so that any of my other orchids, these hybrids really enjoy the heat. They are growing like crazy right now.
One of my Ethiopian orchids, Polystachya paniculata, has a small offset that has been present since I bought the plant. Now it is starting new growth from the original and tall stem. I don’t know if this is normal for this plant or not. But it seems to be happy, so that makes me happy.
I’m also holding out some hope that my Dendrobium atroviolaceum will bloom for me. There is one large bud that has been on the plant since I received it over a month ago. It still hasn’t opened for me. There are also several bloom spikes that are starting to emerge from the top of a couple of the stems, but they aren’t really doing anything lately. It might be the heat. The good news is that there are 4 or 5 new growths starting from the base of the plant.