Thursday, 27 October 2016

New Plants - Two Angraecum hybrids

I have always wanted to grow more Angraecum, but have been rather afraid to. They seem to have an unjustified reputation of being difficult to grow. This may be true for some species, though I haven't tried but Angraecum sesquipedale and its hybrids seem to be easy growers. This is certainly borne out by my plants. I got my Angraecum sesquipedale from Burnham nurseries back in January and it has grown a lot since, though it is still only just approaching flowering size and I suspect it really needs another twelve months

I think the reputation of Angraecum as difficult comes from the fact that they really don't like having their roots disturbed. This doesn't seem to kill them but does prevent flowering, possibly for several seasons. I'm not sure how sensitive they are to know whether even the 'dropping on' method of potting on might prevent this, but I guess I'll find out in the future.

I have been keeping half an eye out for other Angraecum for quite a while and found Angraecum sesquipedale var. angustifolium at the Orchid Festival at the National Botanic Garden of wales back in September. It looks like it has flower spikes emerging. We shall see.

Then, last week, I found two nice looking Angraecum hybrids on eBay of all places, so I decided to make a purchase. The first is Angraecum Crestwood 'Tomorrow Star'. I have to say I'm impressed. The plant is much bigger than I was expecting, and has a flower spike.

Impressive, I'm sure you'll agree it's a nice plant. The pot is full of roots, too. Angraecum Crestwood is a hybrid between Angraecum veitchii and Angraecum sesquipedale. Angraecum veitchii is itself a hybrid between A. sesquipedale and A. eburneum. This back cross onto A. sesquipedale might be an attempt to compensate for the fact that because A. veitchii is a hybrid between species with resupinate (sesquipedale) and non-resupinate (eburneum), the flowers don't necessarily open the 'right way up' according to how we think they should look. The back cross resulting in A. Crestwood corrects this and the flowers are displayed in a similar form to A. sesquipedale. Angraecum Crestwood 'Tomorrow Star' is well known to be a clumper, and you can easily see in the above photo that there are two decent sized secondary fans developing already, as well as a third small fan that is not so obvious. Obviously, the more fans the plant has, the greater its flowering potential. It also appears relatively compact, taking more after A. sesquipedale. That is not to say it won't get big, of course.

The second plant is one of the parents of A. Crestwood, Angraecum veitchii. I will be very interested see this one flower, and it doesn't look like I will have too long to wait, as it has five flower spikes emerging.

This plant is truly huge. I am assuming the large size of this plant is inherited from Angraecum eburneum which is known to be very large indeed.  It has quite a bit of growing still to do to reach its full potential, but it is large already, far larger than A. Crestwood. I look forward to seeing blooms on both of these plants and will, of course, post again with photos when they do.

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