Four members brought in eleven plants, quite a drop from last month but enough for a good show and, with extra plants from Bernard, enough also to generate some lively and informative discussion.
Bernard and Marian Baldwin brought in plants U and W
U. Dendrobium anosmum A large species with long, cane-like stems that in nature is found at fairly low elevations over a wide area from Indo-China and the Philippines, south to New Guinea. Warm conditions are what it needs and that’s what Bernard and Marian give it. The plant on show had a number of strong purple flowers, each with a pair of deep purple blotches in the throat. Bernard mentioned them being fragrant but this was not very evident on the night.
W. Paphiopedilum Maori An early plain-leaved hybrid dating from 1929 and clearly owing a good deal to P. insigne. The dorsal sepal of the single large flower was white with numerous purple spots and an area of green at the base, the synsepal (joined lateral sepals) was pale green with a few spots and the lip and petals were pale greenish, suffused and veined with brownish.
Bryan Adams brought in plants A, C, D, E and F
A. Lycaste Alma de mi Alma A hybrid from Ecuagenera that they produced by crossing the older hybrid Lycaste Shoalhaven with the species L. guatemalensis. L. virginalis is predominant in the make-up of L. Shoalhaven while L. guatemalensis is a related species with smaller flowers. The single large flower had pure white sepals and a pale yellow lip edged with pink. I grow this plant under intermediate conditions and never let it dry right out as, unlike some lycastes, it is not deciduous.
C. Pleione Karakatoa ‘Wheatear’ Three flowering plants together in a small pot, each flower held well up on a long stem. Sepals and petals were creamy-white with a mauve blush and the fringed lip was pale yellow with red spots. It is one of my favourite pleiones as, apart from their unusual colour and long stems, the flowers are exceptionally
D. Masdevallia angulata A plant with two rather unpleasantly scented flowers, basically orange-yellow in colour but with the sepals finely maroon-spotted on the outside and with green-brown tails, and the lip with a deep maroon tip. As noted during the meeting it is probably not correctly named but, whatever its true identity, it does seem to be a masdevallia that doesn’t like being kept too cool.
E. Cattleya Final Touch ‘Lemon Chiffon’ A Carter and Holmes compact cultivar that I purchased from Laurence about four years ago. In those days it was a sophrolaeliocattleya. The two flowers were fragrant and golden yellow, with the apical third of each ruffled lip bearing a large wine-red patch. I suspect my intermediate conditions may be a little cool for it as, despite flowering regularly, it has not grown exceptionally well.
F. Oncidium unnamed hybrid A plant with a spike of ten golden-yellow flowers, each spotted with dark red. Labelled only as a ‘cambria’ type when purchased, this was one of my first orchids in this country but I have never been able to satisfactorily name it. Before the recent name changes I believe it would have been an odontocidium and it is clearly close to an old hybrid named O. Tiger Hambühren. I grow it cool to intermediate and never let it dry right out.
Colin Thorburn brought in plants M, O and X
M. Phalaenopsis sumatrana To my eyes not the most charismatic of plants with its somewhat cabbage-like leaves but the three open flowers were undeniably attractive. The sepals and petals were pale greenish with maroon bars and the other parts white with linear red markings on the lip. Kew give the distribution in nature as Indo-China to Borneo and the Philippines but they do include P. zebrina in the synonymy which not everyone seems to agree with.
O. Phalaenopsis wilsonii Named for the intrepid English plant collector E.H. “Chinese” Wilson, this charming miniature species is found in montane forests of southern China and northern Indo-China where it often grows on rocks as well as trees. Growing further north and at higher altitudes it requires less warmth than most phalaenopsis, doing well under intermediate conditions. In habitat it can be deciduous and Colin feels it is best grown mounted. The single flower on his plant was a pale pinkish-purple with a darker lip.
X. Phalaenopsis OX King A seedling that Colin deflasked in 2011 and is now flowering for the first time. This hybrid was registered (as Doritaenopsis OX King) by OX Orchids of Taiwan in 2008. The single large flower on the spike had darkish mauve sepals and petals with white bases. The lip was even darker with a yellow callus and, again, a white base, both being spotted and striped with dark maroon.
David Welch brought in plant Q
Q. Iwanagara Appleblossom ‘Mendenhall’ A strong plant bearing a spike of six fragrant flowers which David has had since at least 2003. Apart from the lip bases, which were yellowish with red lines, the flower colour was indeed very similar to that of apple-blossom. This is a complex multigeneric hybrid and, following recent name changes which have seen one of its constituent genera, Sophronitis, disappear into Cattleya, its generic name is now Jackfowlieara. Poor plant!
The results of the voting were: C1, E4, M1, O2, Q4 and U1 so David’s ‘Iwanagara’ and my Cattleya shared the honours.