Thursday, 10 March 2016

Bloom Event - Epicyclia Serena O'Neill

I shall be wearing this keyboard out at this rate!  I got this orchid from a show three or four years ago, and it has grown steadily and bloomed reliably ever since. I am informed (by google) that it is a hybrid of Epicyclia Mabel Kanda (Encyclia cordigera x Epidendrum densiflorum) and Encyclia cordigera. I actually grow this plant right next to one of my Encyclia cordigera, and I can kind of see the resemblance, though the hybrid has taller pseudobulbs and far more flowers per inforescence.

I know that green flowers are not to everyone's taste, but the white and purple lip does provide a nice contrast. They are not huge flowers (but then neither of its parents have huge flowers either), but they do pack a punch as far a scent is concerned.  The scent is very strong, especially in sunlight, and very sweet and floral. I don't recall that Encyclia cordigera smells like that (we'll find out, soon), so I wonder if the scent partly comes from Epidendrum densiflorum, too. As the plant is growing, the flower count is increasing and the flower spikes are starting to branch, too which is always a welcome sight. Once flowering is over, this plant desperately needs potting on as there really isn't much more room for it. It will also need its growing medium changing as I'm sure it will do better in a coarser bark than it is in at the moment.

You can see above that its roots like to wander (definitely a trait it has picked up from Encyclia cordigera). The main down side I have found with this hybrid is that it is a real magnet for scale insect. They love the whole Cattleya alliance (of which this hybrid is a part), must be something to do with the very solid pseudobulbs. This plant is definitely clear of them now, though and has started to put on nice big pseudobulbs, so I have high hopes that it will do even better in the future.

Definitely a keeper, if not a beauty queen.

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