Eight plants from five members this month, well down on recent months but still enough for a colourful and interesting show and I don’t mind having a bit of a rest.
Bernard and Marian Baldwin brought in plants A and E
A. Dendrobium subclausum A long, hanging plant from New Guinea with a number of trailing and branching stems and numerous clusters of bright orange flowers, each with the free parts of the sepals and petals a contrasting yellow. Bernard has long been uncertain as to the identity of this plant and previously had it labelled D. obtusipetalum. Sadly, I have so little knowledge of the New Guinea dendrobiums that I am unable to comment sensibly on either name.
E. Bulbophyllum lobbii ‘Noddy’ A very large plant in a pond basket bearing at least twenty open flowers, more than double the number it had when we last saw it. The flowers had strongly reflexed petals and were yellowish-green, densely veined with maroon. A warm-growing species of widespread occurrence in SE Asia from India across to the Philippines and south to Borneo.
Bryan Adams brought in plants Y and Z
Y. Dendrobium sanderae The four very long-lasting flowers on this plant were a pristine white, except for the base and lateral lobes of the lip and the inner face of the column, which were all a deep purple-maroon, and the tips of the spurs, which were green. Happy at intermediate temperatures, this attractive species is found on the island of Luzon in the Philippines where, unusually, it is said to grow on the trunks of pine trees.
Z. Scaphyglottis pulchella Members of the New World genus Scaphyglottis tend to have small flowers and their habit of producing new pseudobulbs on top of old ones not infrequently leads to rather straggly growth. For these reasons they are rarely seen in cultivation. S. pulchella, native to wet forest between 1000 and 1500m in Costa Rica and adjacent Panama, is one of the larger-flowered and more attractive species. My plant bore a single greenish-white flower with a white lip. The sepals were purple tinged and the lip veined with purple in the centre.
Colin Thorburn brought in plant W
W. Gastrochilus japonicus Another of ‘Colin’s specials’, a miniature mounted plant which he purchased from Water Orchids. He grows it in semi-shade with plenty of water and under warm conditions, although it is very temperature tolerant and can also be grown cool. The single spike bore five flowers, each with greenish sepals and petals, a white lip with red spots, a red-tipped column and a deep nectary between the lip and the column. This species is native to Hong Kong and temperate Asia from Taiwan to Japan.
Derek Barwick brought in plant N
N. Zygopetalum unnamed hybrid This plant had a substantial spike of seven flowers and, from pictures and plants I have seen, I feel it likely it could be referable to the grex Zygolum Louisendorf (Zygosepalum labiosum x Zygopetalum Arthur Elle). In each case the sepals and petals were maroon on the insides and green on the backs, while the lip and the column were deep purple with white edges.
Jack and Joan Butcher brought in plants C and S
C. Cattleya harrisoniana A bifoliate epiphytic or lithophytic species from swampy forests in SE Brazil. Jack and Joan obtained it as a young plant from Andrew Bannister and give it intermediate conditions with fairly high light and humidity. Their plant had two spikes, each with two flowers which were purple-pink with a creamy, ruffled lip.
S. Dendrochilum filiforme A good plant of this Philippine endemic with some seven hanging spikes, each with a large number of tiny flowers and borne on an arching, thread-like stem. The flowers were yellowish-green and are reputedly fragrant, although I didn’t notice any scent. Jack and Joan grow it under intermediate conditions and keep it watered throughout the year.
The results of the voting were: A3, C3, E4, S2, Y3 and Z2, so Bernard and Marian’s bulbophyllum squeezed in just ahead of the chasing pack.