Saturday, December 10, 2011

OOAB Blooms Spring #1

I have, alas, continued in my plague theme of being far too busy to muck about with plant photography and blog posts; there have been quite a few nice blooms come and go here at OOAB HQ. I did manage to snap a few pictures of them here and there - sometimes only with a cellphone camera, but here they are nonetheless!

Beallara Peggy Ruth Carpenter 'Everglades'
(Bllra. Tahoma Glacier x Milt. Purple Queen)
Taken way back in September

This plant has recently re-bloomed; the flower looks better coloured this time (last time the inflorescence had several crowded blooms; this time just one - see below) - although Senior Management reminds me that the colour fades as the flower gets older, and the picture above was of fairly old blooms.

This plant seems very easy to grow and keeps throwing out new growths like crazy - it's starting to look quite crowded in its pot and may be ripe for a spot of dividing. One thing I was surprised at is if you stick your nose right in the flower and sniff, it smells very much like freshly ground white pepper. I've decided I quite like the idea of fragrant orchids, so I often "stop to smell the flowers". Apparently some of the other closely related hybrids smell of pepper strongly enough to fill the room with that scent.
Senior Managemetn and I really like the crazy petals both in their blotching and twisted shapes, but I'm sure orchid judges - those whimsical arbiters of "greatness" - would hate their deviance from perfection!

Zelglossoda Calico Gem 'Green Valley #1'
This is a great little plant that Senior Management saw at the local florist and decided we must have. I had spotted it a few days earlier and been sorely tempted by its deep purple flower buds, but Senior Management had strongly hinted that there is little space at OOAB HQ for new aquisitions, so I sadly passed it by. Imagine my delight when it showed up a few days later in bloom as a gift! Unfortunately, it didn't have a label and was a NOID for a little while. Shortly after we got it, I thought I should take it to the next EPOS meeting in case anyone had any idea what it was. It turned out that local orchid vendors Caro-Lin remembered selling this to the local florist, and so a few days later, I was given the name of this charming little plant.

Aerangis fastuosa
We took this Aerangis fastuosa plant along with the Zelglossoda above to the September EPOS meeting. One member remarked to me that we should have taken it to the annual show, where he considered it would have done very well in miniature or African sections - of course, stubbornly, not a single flower was open in time for the annual show. In the end, it won best species on the plant table at the meeting, joining the ranks of our plants other people think are quite good (the other being our Rhynchostylis coelestis)! This plant is remarkably strongly scented, like jasmine - almost overpoweringly so in a small car, particularly as the scent is strongest in the early evening; precisely when we climb into the car to go to EPOS meetings! I really like the delicate white flowers. I'm thinking about mounting this plant when I can find something to mount it on; the flowers would display much better.

Finally, here is our Dendriobium kingianum, one of our original orchids (prior to the fateful trip to Exotic Plant Company nearly a year ago) - i.e. before full blown orchid mania struck!

Dendrobium kingianum
These plants have an amazing variety of different lip and flower patterns - some people have literally hundreds of them! They're quite tough, forgiving orchids - pretty good beginner plants in my opinion - although their flowers are quite modest in size. I think they smell like hyacinths (not a smell I particularly enjoy).

I'll add another post a bit later with some more - spring time is good to us around these parts!