Sunday, March 18, 2012

Miltonia moreliana and Dendrobium mousmee

Miltonia moreliana
Miltonia moreliana
At the EPOS meeting last Thursday, one of the members brought in this spectacular specimen of Miltonia moreliana. This plant was at one stage considered to be a variety of another species - Miltonia spectabilis var. moreliana, but it has since been elevated to species level. Clearly this plant is worthy of wider cultivation. The previous South African Orchid Council (the AOS of South Africa, if you like!) award to this species was given to a small plant with just two flowers in 2010. There seem to be quite a lot of AOS awards at the 70-odd flower count, and there are a couple or awarded plants with over 100 flowers from Australia and the USA. I imagine the South African judges would have fallen off their chairs if presented with this. Sorry the photos aren't that great - cellphone cameras are not DSLRs!

The other spectacular specimen we saw that night was a Dendrobium mousmee 'Coleen' which is growing in the speaker's garden centre business; unfortunately, this was only photographically, but nonetheless, the statistics are impressive. He had the plant for several years without blooming and then gave it away. Ultimately, he bought it back a few years later. The plant is perhaps 30-35 years old and in that time has grown to a monster of around 5m in circumference! It has over 5,000 flowers and buds:
Dendrobium mousmee 'Colleen'
Photo courtesy Colin Silver, Stoneage Orchids
 Not surprisingly, this plant has previously been judged; in 2005 it had 3,500 flowers. I can only imagine it will continue getting larger and larger. You can see more photos of it at the Stoneage Orchids facebook album here.