It’s hard to believe that it has been three months since I last managed to get a Six on Saturday post together. The past week has been gloomy and wet outside, so here are six plants that are currently flowering in my greenhouse.
1. Paphiopedilum Fanaticum
Paphiopedilum x fanaticum is the natural hybrid of Paphiopedilum malipoense and P. micranthum. When the same cross is produced in cultivation, the plants are designated Paphiopedilum Fanaticum. This isn’t the greatest photo–light levels were low, and the flower is still opening–but I think you can see that the plant is aptly named. Anyone who is subject to orchidelirium will likely be a fanatic for Paph. Fanaticum.
2. Epidendrum cf. schlechterianum
E. schlechterianum is miniature orchid found from Costa Rica to northern South America (Peru, Colombia, Brazil). Alternatively, E. schlechterianum grows only in Panama, and a group of closely related species–E. congestum, E. congestioides, E. oxynanodes, E. schizoclinandrium, E. serruliferum, and E. uleinanodes–are found elsewhere. It all depends on which botanist you believe. In any case, this is a bizarre little plant with flowers that are almost the same color and texture as the semi-succulent leaves that cover its creeping stems. It grows well mounted on a chunk of treefern fiber and watered once or twice a week.
3. Dendrobium speciosum var. pedunculatum
Some forms of the Australian Dendrobium speciosum grow so large that a forklift is required to move them, but D. speciosum var. pedunculatum is a dwarf variety. My plant has been growing happily in a 4-inch (10 cm) diameter terracotta pot for the past five years, and its pseudobulbs are only slightly larger than my thumb. In summer, it lives outside in almost full sun. In winter, I keep it in the brightest end of the greenhouse and reduce watering to once every two or three weeks.
4. Utricularia sandersonii (Sanderson’s bladderwort)
Although its flowers look vaguely orchid-like, Utricularia sandersonii is a terrestrial bladderwort, a carnivorous member of the family Lentibulariaceae native to South Africa. It grows in saturated soils, where its underground bladder traps can capture and digest protists or rotifers that are small enough to swim between the soil grains. The leaves of U. sandersonii are a couple of millimeters long, and the flower, which looks a bit like a long-tailed rabbit (or maybe a bilby), is about 1 cm from top to bottom.
I grow U. sandersonii in a small pot sitting in water almost up to the surface of the soil (a mix of peat and silica sand). After a few years, it forms a thick tangle of stolons and starts to deteriorate, perhaps because the supply of protists or trace elements in the soil has been exhausted. At that point, propagation is simply a matter of tearing off a chunk of soil/stolons and using it to inoculate a new pot of soil.
5. Hippeastrum striatum
H. striatum is a smallish species from southern Brazil. Its bulbs, leaves, and flowers are all much smaller than the big hybrid hippeastrums that are sold as “Amaryllis” at Christmas time, and I think it is better suited to cultivation in pots.
6. Cyrtanthus (species? hybrid?)
This plant grew from seed that I purchased as Cyrtanthus stenanthus, but it appears to have been mislabeled. It seems to want grow in winter/spring and goes dormant in hot weather.
Six on Saturday is hosted by The Propagator. Head over there to see his Six for this week and to find links to the blogs of other participants.