Friday, February 25, 2011

New Plants: Outeniqua Orchids.

I was sorely tempted by and (perhaps predictably) succumbed to the temptation of the Outeniqua Orchids price list which I received through email after requesting a copy a little while back. So far, I've resisted those of Inhle and Serendipity Orchids. I sort of passed on the Inhle list with Xs next to things to my girlfriend, because she kept asking about birthday presents for me... Serendipity has gone and put it's address as about 2 highway exits away from my girlfriend's parent's house. So I suspect we'll end up there sooner rather than later.

Outeniqua (formerly Stellenkloof) Orchids are the African agents for Carter and Holmes orchids, so if you're after something from there and live down this way, Else Hall will do her best to get it for you in the next shipment. They will also happily snail-mail you Carter and Holmes catalogues just to really get you excited. I got two the other day... (Fortunately?), It's mostly Cattleyas, which I find a bit over-hyped. They're flowers that are trying far too hard, I somehow feel. OOAB HQ is rather full at the moment, so these guys will keep me company in the office for now - it's nice and cool (which the Masdevallia will like, maybe not the Paphiopedilum though), but with the aircon, I imagine the humidity is low (which they won't), but I wonder if there will be enough variation in temperature to prompt things like flowering...

The order arrived overnight after being shipped overnight from George. I opened the box to be greeted by some nicely wrapped plants:
Complete with handy packing list, just in case you forgot...

It looks like the C&H packing ethos has rubbed off! The tissue paper was slightly damp, which is probably a good thing in transit.
Top layer removed...
Each orchid individually wrapped in tissue paper.
First out the box:
Neofinetia falcata

Handy shredded plastic stuff for protection
Unfortunately, much of the compost fell out in transit. :(
N. falcata unpacked. Note jumbled mix.
I dumped it all out and redid the potting last night.
Roots look a bit dodgy, but there is a new root about to grow,
so it should be OK!
 Neofinetia falcata has a long history of being grown in Japan, where apparently it was a favourite of the ruling classes. Seems to like being cultured like a cool growing Vanda. I suspect they'd just about live in the garden outside all year round here. Apparently, they generally need more than one "fan" before they bloom, so I guess we'll be waiting for this one. Patient like a Samurai!

Next up: Masdevallia Snowbird
(M. majiana x M. tovarensis)

Looks like it just finished flowering :(

I've kind of decided that Pleurothallids are generally awesome. I want more :)

Paphiopedilum Pinocchio.
Released from its bonds!
Small plant; I guess it'll be a while before it blooms.
Paph. Pinocchio is Paph. primulinum x Paph. glaucophyllum.

This hybrid is apparently often recommended to newbie Paph growers (and noobs with orchids generally) as it's supposed to be fairly tough, and being a sequential bloomer, pretty rewarding to boot.

Masdevallia tovarensis 'Puffin'
There's some new shoots in there, yay!

And finally:

Masdevallia 'Tangerine Dragon'
M. Tangerine Dragon is M. veitchiana x M. mendozae)
I also bought some "Superthrive®" which has marketing like Verimark or Glomail on crack. I mean, seriously. This stuff must be snake oil! I'll give it a go at some stage though, particularly if anything looks really sad with life.  

Here's the little collection: 
New Plants. Joy! :D
 All pictures from my newly upgraded phone. The camera on the Nokia E72 is *much* better than the one on the E71! I still need to figure out how to force autofocus; on the E71, you press T; apparently on this one - so Google tells me - you hold down the main navi key until you're happy and then let go. Apologies for all the head-twisting orientations; I uploaded these all before realising that the E72 doesn't stick a "not the right way up/This Way Up" tag into the EXIM data, so Picasaweb doesn't autorotate them. And it's being stubborn and greying out the rotation option in my collection online :(