Sunday, 29 January 2017

Bloom Event - Epicyclia Mabel Kanda

I've just been looking through my blog to find a past entry for this, but it seems I've been rather remiss as I can't find one. This plant originally came from Ray Creek Orchids, several years ago, although I have found this plant from another source on the continent and have sold all the plants I got. There seems to be some confusion over the name of this one, and most plants you'll find seem to go under the name Epidendrum floribundum, but this is definitely wrong (check out Google). Further investigation has let me to the name Epicyclia Mabel Kanda, which is a primary hybrid between Epidendrum paniculatum and Encyclia cordigera, and this would certainly make more sense, ans they hybrid does fall almost exactly between the parents.

The flower is a lovely clear green with a delicately marked lip. As a bonus it is very nicely scented which always wins brownie points with me. The flower spike bears quite a few flowers, and is also branching. It is nice and strong and never needs staking, but it does arch quite gracefully.

The plant itself is tallish, though not as tall as its Epidendrum parent. How big it will eventually get I can't say as the canes are still increasing in size. They are quite thick and sturdy and tend to have a purplish cast to them, probably because I grow it under quite high light. It does seem prone to fungal disease, especially on the leaves, but now I'm spraying fairly regularly with fungicide this is becoming less of a problem so the plant is beginning to look more attractive. The root system is very extensive, and seems to like to wander over the surface of the growing medium rather than into it. I have no idea whether the pot is full of roots or not, as I have had no reason to disturb it yet.

It has a nice tight clumping habit and stays compact. I would like to see more lead growths on it, but maybe that is something I can encourage myself after blooming with a back-cut. In light of recent problems with fungal attacks, I shall make absolutely sure that my tools are sterilised before and after doing this, and I shall sprinkle the cut with cinnamon which seems to help prevent diseases getting in.

This is highly recommended by me, especially if you like scented orchids. It is a robust grower, and a regular and reliable bloomer. At time of writing, there are plants available on eBay, going under the erroneous name of Epidendrum floribundum. I can't really blame them for using the old name as the proper name took some finding!

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