Friday, 5 August 2016

Bloom Event - Coelogyne salmonicolor x usitana

As promised, another Coelogyne. I've been looking forward to seeing this bloom since I got it from Schwerter (link to the right) back in March. I was impressed with the plant even when it arrived, being of a large size (now I have C. usitana too, I can see where the size of the plant comes form). It was a little past blooming stage when I got it, and it had two nice fresh leaves emerging from its new growths. Since then it has gone on to mature those new pseudobulbs and has put out three new growths, the first of which has just opened its first flower. This is a similar hybrid to the much fabled (and soon to bloom) C. Lyme Bay which is a hybrid between particularly dark forms of both C. speciosa and C. usitana, giving a hybrid with a very dark lip which is almost black when the flowers open. The hybrid with C. salmonicolor I wasn't expecting to be anything like so dark, but I wasn't sure exactly what I actually was expecting.

There is some confusion over naming here, and I've no doubt that whatever explanation I put here, there will be someone out there who'll say they know better. As I understand it, Coelogyne salmonicolor and Coelogyne speciosa var. salmonicolor are two different species altogether. C. speciosa var. salmonicolor is now simply known as C. speciosa ('Burnham' if you live in the UK), and I have this plant in my collection. According to my research, Coelogyne salmonicolor refers to another species altogether, although this is open to dispute and I've no doubt it will be.

As you can see, this hybrid is a nightmare to get a decent photo of. Both of the parents have pendulous flowers. In their natural habitat, this is to prevent the frequent heavy rains from falling into the centre of the flower and causing self-pollination. Of course, to orchid growers, this can be something of a problem as the flowers demand that the observer gets close to them to see them. I quite like the way the flowers are held both on this hybrid and on both of its parents. Once again, it is a sequential bloomer with one flower at a time being open per spike. Hopefully there will be another two spikes not too far behind this one so fingers crossed, there will be three flowers open at a time for a while.  The flower is very large indeed, and those of you who follow my musings on my facebook page will be aware of the wait for the bud to reach its full size.

The above photo shows quite nicely the size of the flower compared to the size of the plant. This one has great potential by the looks of it. The pseudobulbs are nicely clumping, as do its parents, although the leaf span is large to say the least, reminiscent of C. usitana. I am still in two minds whether I should take the plant out of its pot when it is done blooming or not. The pot it is in was originally a hanging pot so it only has one drainage hole at the bottom. The plant clearly isn't bothered at all, but I think I'd prefer a pot with more holes in it to allow for better drainage. I have a good couple of months to decide.

A slightly questionable shot I know, but it does illustrate very nicely the markings on the lip. It basically has a white base and looks like someone has brushed chocolate over the surface of it. I know I seem to have a bit of a thing for brown flowers just recently, but that is just gorgeous.

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