Tag Archives: orchids

Encyclia season

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.

Encyclia ‘Gay Rabbit’

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.

Encyclia seidelii
Encyclia seidelii
Encyclia seidelii
Encyclia seidelii in macro

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.

Encyclia belizensis
Encyclia belizensis in macro

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.

Encyclia ramoense 'Dr Pepper'
Encyclia ramoense ‘Dr Pepper’
Encyclia ramoense 'Dr Pepper'
Encyclia ramoense ‘Dr Pepper’ in macro

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.

Encyclia Grand Bahama (tampensis x plicata)

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.

Encyclia Grand Bahama (tampensis x plicata) in macro

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.

Encyclia guatemalensis

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.

Ceratostylis rubra in bloom

I have admired Ceratostylis rubra for several years.  It is not a flashy orchid with big, colorful flowers or even fragrant flowers.  It’s just simple and interesting.  One of the features I really like is the woody look, caused by the papery, brown cataphylls that surround the base of each leaf.

The flowers are also beautiful, if you take the time to look at them.  They are small and orange, but have the opalescent shimmer commonly found in orchids.  The center is pure white.  When I look at these flowers I think of creamsicle.

I bought my plant in April and this is the first time it has bloomed for me.  Because the flowers are held so close to the plant, it is easy to miss when in bloom.  I was lucky to notice it and will have to watch closely for it each year.  I assume it will probably flower around the same time again next year.

Local orchid show

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.

Enjoying her first orchid show, laughing with mommy.

I carried Myla around while Christie took photos for me.  First, I’ll show off the Dendrobium.

Dendrobium lawesii being sold at one of the vendor tables.
Dendrobium lawesii – different color variant – also being sold.
Dendrobium Aridang x Burana Sundae
Miniature, deciduous, upright Dendrobium
Nice purple Dendrobium
Nice pendant, deciduous Dendrobium, profusely blooming.

A couple of nice Cymbidium.

An unregistered cascading hybrid Cymbidium
Cymbidium Little Black Sambo, upright and very dark

Miscellaneous other plants.

Laelia hybrid. I love this color and the faint pattern on the lip.
Very happy Cattleya
Anguloa hohenlohii x Ida locusta. Very interesting primary intergeneric hybrid.
Pleurothallis penelops. Awesome species that looks very similar to Pleurothallis dilemma.
Large, mounted specimen of Dendrochilum aurantiacum.

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.

Dockrillia wassellii in bloom

It is always exciting to see a plant bloom for the first time. I have seen pictures of Dockrillia wassellii blooms, but this is the first time that my plant has put out a bloom spike.

Dockrillia wassellii
Dockrillia wassellii

The flowers are quite small, but they have really beautiful intricate details.

Dockrillia wassellii blooms
Dockrillia wassellii blooms

I purchased my plant at the beginning of the year, mounted on cork bark. It hasn’t really grown since I got it, but it hasn’t lost any of its leaves and has seemed happy. The blooms are good confirmation of that.  When it has finished blooming I will move the plant from its current location onto the mounted orchid rack.

A place for mounted orchids

I am always trying to figure out better ways of arranging my plants, especially as fall approaches and I know that all of the plants scattered around my yard are going to have to go back into the greenhouse soon.  When I set up the shelves in my greenhouse, I had more shelves per unit than I wanted to use.  I put two of the shelves to use by making separate bases for them and giving myself a low bench in one of the corners of my greenhouse.  The other shelf I sat aside for future inspiration.

Some of my mounted orchids hanging off of a pot
Some of my mounted orchids hanging off of a pot

Well, inspiration came recently!  I have been hanging my mounted orchids in various places in the greenhouse, some from the fronts of the shelves, others from hanging pots or other mounted orchids… I decided that my little collection of mounted orchids would be better cared for if they were consolidated in one location, and it would also eliminate some of the accessibility problems I was having when I would hang them on the front of a shelf and not be able to reach back to other plants.

My new rack with most of the mounted orchids in place
My new rack with most of the mounted orchids in place

So I mounted that shelf piece vertically between studs and… Voila!  Now I have a hanging rack for my collection of mounted orchids, which numbers about 15 right now.  I have a couple more orchids that need to be mounted.  As soon as I can find some suitable mounting material and some time, there will be more orchids added to the rack.