What a show! Seven members brought in a total of eighteen plants, a challenge for me to write up but, nevertheless, very good to see. These numbers have not been exceeded since March last year.
Bernard and Marian Baldwin brought in plants A, D and L
A. Dendrobium wardianum A really lovely species from the eastern Himalayas and northern Indo-China which Bernard and Marian grow under intermediate conditions, with a cool period when the leaves begin to drop. One of the pseudobulbs bore eight large flowers, these coloured white and purple except for the lower part of each lip which was golden-yellow with a pair of deep purple spots.
D. Dendrochilum wenzelii One of the many dendrochilums native to the Philippines where it occurs in low altitude forests. This smallish plant had grass-like leaves and numerous spikes of reddish flowers. Bernard and Marian grow it warm and keep it watered throughout the year.
L. Pleione Britannia 'Doreen' A pan containing seven exceptionally well grown flowering pseudobulbs of this well-known clone. The sepals and petals were purple-pink and the fringed lips almost white with numerous brown-yellow spots. Bernard and Marian keep their pleiones in an unheated garage in winter, leaving them dry until new shoots appear and then watering them well until the leaves fall.
Bryan Adams brought in plants P and Q
P. Trichopilia hennisiana This species has distinctive one-leaved, two-edged pseudobulbs and occurs naturally in Colombia and Ecuador between 1400 and 2500m. I grow it under intermediate conditions and never let it dry right out. Trichopilias are not often seen in collections, which is a little surprising as there are over forty of them, they are not particularly difficult to grow and many have large, attractive flowers. In this case the plant bore a pair of fragrant pure white flowers with yellow in the throat.
Q. Cattlianthe Little Hazel A miniature Cattleya group hybrid that I purchased from Chantelle Orchids at the last Peterborough show. Although only a small plant, it has produced two spikes with a total of eleven flowers, each a deep scarlet-red with some yellow veining at the base of the lip. I keep it in the warmest part of my intermediate greenhouse.
Colin Thorburn brought in plants F and S
F. Dendrobium Malones 'Victory' A clone of one of the many D. nobile hybrids produced by Jiro Yamamoto, two of the stems were adorned with dark cherry-red flowers, each with a large greenish-yellow blotch on the lip. Colin gives this plant intermediate conditions and semi-shade.
S. Phalaenopsis schilleriana Endemic to the Philippines, this plant had a pair of most attractively mottled leaves and a spike of seven flowers, each pink and marked with yellow and red spots on the lip. Purchased at the 2005 WOC in Dijon, Colin thinks this plant 'cuts the mustard' but I'm not sure what our own Sir Jeremiah would have thought.
Jack and Joan Butcher brought in plants M and T
M. Cypripedium Parville One of the range of hardy 'Garden Orchids' from Anthura in Holland. Although the name would suggest it is a hybrid, it has not been registered as such and I strongly suspect this is simply a trade name for the American species C. parviflorum. The plant shown had two flowering stems, the single flower on each having greenish sepals and petals, heavily veined with brown, and a golden-yellow lip. Jack and Joan keep it moist from spring to autumn and dry in winter, when it is sheltered against the house wall and covered with layers of fleece.
T. Paphiopedilum rothschildianum 'Mont Millais' A highly awarded clone of one of the most famous of all orchids, the species originating from Borneo (Mt Kinabalu) and the clone from the Eric Young Orchid Foundation. The three large flowers on the spike had yellowish sepals and petals with chocolate-brown stripes and a brownish lip. Jack and Joan have had it for eighteen years, grow it intermediate to warm and water throughout the year.
June Dixon brought in plants I, J, X and Z
I. Epidendrum radicans A terrestrial or lithophytic reed-stemmed epidendrum, native to tropical America from Mexico to Colombia and considered something of a weed in parts of Central America, so freely does it grow. That said, I rather doubt June's plant is actually true E. radicans which, as I understand it, should have orange-red flowers while the sepals and petals on hers were yellow with a reddish blush and the heavily fringed lips were pale yellow. In addition to this, the lips were non-resupinate (pointing up) when they should be resupinate (pointing down). Don't ask me to give this plant another name, though. It is one of a large complex of similar and difficult to separate species and there are also many hybrids.
J. Pleione Alishan 'Merlin' A single flowering plant of this clone, distinguished by the white tips to the sepals and petals which were otherwise a purple-pink. The lip was white and well spotted with brownish.
X. Pleione Tongariro Eight flowering pseudobulbs in a bowl. Each flower was entirely purple-pink except for the lip which had yellow keels and brownish spots.
Z. Pleione Jorullo 'Long-tailed Tit' In this case the three flowers were of a noticeably darker colour than those of the other pleiones on show and the lip had deep red markings. Jean grows all her pleiones cool and keeps them cold in winter on a west-facing windowsill.
Min Kennison brought in plants N and O
N. Polystachya paniculata It couldn't be called beautiful but, with its branched spikes of small orange-yellow flowers this unusual plant generated a good deal of interest and comment. Native to Africa from W Tropical Africa across to SW Ethiopia, Min bought it from Ray Creek in 2013 and grows it intermediate to warm.
O. Cattleya Fiery before the recent name changes this was Laeliocattleya Fiery and Min's plant had two spikes of quite small burnt-orange flowers. She purchased it at the RHS London show about six years ago and, under her intermediate to warm conditions, it has since flowered reliably.
Richard Spalding brought in plants H, U and V
H. Dendrobium Gatton Monarch A Sir Jeremiah Colman D. nobile hybrid dating from 1917 – and still going strong! Besides being somewhat larger than those of D. nobile, the ten flowers had rich purple petals and a lip with a deep purple blotch at the base, surrounded by a zone of white. Richard grows it under cool to intermediate conditions and has found that putting it outside in August and September has improved flowering.
U. Dendrobium nobile A white-flowered variant of this well-known species which Richard grows mounted on bark and close to the roof glass. He sprays it daily and dunks it in feed once a week. The plant originated from a keiki four or five years ago and the numerous almost pure white flowers made a good show.
V. Richard loves his mixed plantings and in this case we had an unnamed Coelogyne species fighting it out with an equally unnamed Commelina species. There were apparently also two bulbophyllums in there somewhere but I didn't notice those – I had a lot of plants to look at. The coelogyne was a large plant with four pendulous spikes, the flowers being white, with red veins and yellow marks on the lip.
Could it have been C. flaccida?
The results of the voting were: A1, D1, I1, L1, M1, N1, O1, Q2, S3, T5 and V1 so, although they say the plant is not as good as it once was, Jack and Joan's exquisite Paph was still the worthy winner from a very crowded field.