Saturday, 7 January 2017

Bloom Event - Liparis nutans

The other plant that has erupted triumphantly into bloom is Liparis nutans. I had always been rather scared of Liparis species assuming, wrongly, that they would be fussy plants (presumably because members of that genus grow wild in the United Kingdom).  I got this species six months ago and it has been growing steadily ever since. Apart from being a very thirsty plant, it has proved to be no trouble at all to grow with plenty of new roots being produced . I was warned to watch out for slugs and snails on this species, but I haven't seen any damage at all on it. I was wondering when it would flower, and the answer seems to be whenever it feels like it. It must be one of those species that is capable of producing a few new growths a year which all then flower at the same time. Only two flower spikes this time, but that still equates to around 80 flowers.

I think the flowers look like little ballerinas. Quite charming. I know they are technically more brown flowers, but they really are very pretty. Sadly the flowers at the base of the spike start going over before the buds at the top have started to open but it still puts on a nice display and I reckon this will be a spectacular species once it gets bigger. I put some support in because the pseudobulbs are rather soft and I worried that it would collapse under its own weight. Looks like I needn't have worried, though.

The foliage seems very soft and sort of shiny, which is apparently what Liparis means, though I have forgotten how exactly it is derived. The pseudobulbs are quite small and rather insignificant, and I assume that this species is not well adapted to putting up with periods of drought. I dimly remember trying to grow this species quite a few years ago and failing miserably. Having tried again more successfully I assume that I underwatered it. This one really does seem to thrive in quite damp and very humid conditions. For this reason I can't imagine it would go on for long as a houseplant because it simply won't be able to draw water through its tissues fast enough and would shrivel away. If you can provide some extra humidity, however, it really thrives and flowers quite enthusiastcially.

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