Thursday, October 11, 2012

Brassocattleya Morning Glory

Some time back, a member of the EPOS (Margaret) gave me part of a Brassocattleya (Bc.) Morning Glory that another member had given her, as it more or less fell in two when she repotted it - orchid society plant insurance is to spread divisions of your plants around in case anything untoward happens to yours!

After a long wait, four of the buds have opened: 
Bc. Morning Glory; detail of lip
Bc. Morning Glory
Bc. Morning Glory
Bc. Morning Glory; detail of lip
This is the orchid with the largest individual flowers the OOAB collection; we tend to steer away from the giant Cattleya-type blooms for the most part, but this is quite a nice plant to my eyes, and it's very hard to say no to a free orchid. :)  Incidentally, this plant is another one of the casualties in the taxonomic name wars; its parents, which constitute a first generation (primary) intergeneric hybrid are (for the moment) classified as Brassavola nodosa and Cattleya purpurata. Cattleya purpurata used to be in the genus Laelia, so many people may have seen this plant labelled Bl. (Brassolaelia) Morning Glory; however, for the moment at least, Brassocattleya (Bc.) Morning Glory is the right name! If you look at the two parents (click on the links above), you'll see that the colour and lip patterning must come from the Cattleya parent, whilst the huge lip and somewhat narrower petals and sepals seem to be inherited from the Brassavola parent. This is quite an old hybrid, first registered in 1958; this cross has since gone on form part of at least 27 other registered hybrid orchids (according to version 8 of OrchidWiz).

It arrived at OOAB HQ with some scale; careful ministrations with cotton buds soaked in surgical spirits and drizzling a little Bio Kill into the leaf axils where we couldn't reach seems to have knocked out those menacing little beasts. Talking of menacing little beasts, the fellow EPOS member who gave me this division lost about half of their first flowers (which developed a month or so earlier than mine) to a slug, which devoured several promising buds overnight!