Friday, 20 January 2017

New Plants - Visit to Burnham Nurseries

These posts must be getting boring to read, but I'll plough on nevertheless. In an effort to stay the January blues, I quite often make a pilgrimage to the Southwest either Christmas week or just after. This year it was a little later, just after the kids went back to school so all was quiet down there, just as I like it. Since I was in the vague area, I felt it would be rude not to visit Burnham Nurseries. They had published their 'specials' list toward the end of the year, and one or two species on it had piqued my interest so I asked them to put them aside until I visited. I also needed some coarse growing medium to repot my Angraecum. Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm far to tight to pay carriage on mere bark chips, so I knew I'd have to visit (not that its a hardship).

It is always good to catch up with the staff at Burnham Nurseries. It is quite rare I get a chance to have a good nerd-out about orchids, so I took the chance and had quite lengthy conversations with two people, mostly about Coelogyne of various types, although I only came back with one (more to follow). I asked about Coelogyne rochussenii (my regular readers will know of the anguish where that species is concerned) and noticed that the plants in their sales area didn't look too clever either. In fact, I was told that quite a lot of plants had gone in the bin and that they hadn't go to the bottom of the infection. Interestingly, their mother plants are entirely unaffected by the disease. The plot thickens. My own plant doesn't appear to be getting worse after a treatment of fungicide, which I consider to be progress. The new growth appears to be clean, too.

On to the point of this post, which is new plants. I picked up quite a bit while wandering around, and I have now got round to photographing them all.

First up is Prosthechea prismatocarpa which I had asked for before Christmas. I had been waiting ages for them to divide up their mother plants and finally I have got one. It is only a small(ish) plant because I couldn't afford the larger ones. It seems a nice plant but I do wish it had had longer to establish itself before being sold.

This is quite a large growing species, but I expect it will be several years before it reaches any large size. I'm slightly concerned that my growroom will be too hot for it, but I've wanted one for years so had to give it a try. I expect I'll get smaller pseudobulbs for a couple of years yet until it is properly established.

Next up is another one I'd asked for beforehand, Pinalia philippinensis. Rather an obscure one, this used to be part of genus Eria before the taxonomists got to work on it. I can really find barely any information on it, so I guess I'll have to just keep an eye on it and see what it does. My main concern isn't so much getting it to grow so much as the habit of the plant.

Scrawny looking thing, isn't it? It looks to me as if it will be something of a climber, with each new growth being above the level of the last one, resulting in it needing constant potting on. Notice it is already in a deep pot and its only a baby.

Next up is Phalaenopsis gigantea. I have had this one on my list for some time so I'm pleased to have found one at a reasonable price. It seems a nice healthy plant and I look forward to seeing it bloom.

It is clearly a baby and is some considerable way off flowering size yet. On adult plants, the leaves can reach around 30cm long, so it certainly lives up to its name. Still it is an attractive plant even when young (if such things float your boat), and I'm (relatively) patient.

Next up is Phalaenopsis fasciata. This isn't the most thrilling species in the genus, but will be attractive in its own right, especially if, like me, you're a fan of the more 'botanical' species.

Another nice healthy plant and much closer to flowering size than Phalaenopsis gigantea is. The nursery seem to have a new supplier and they have far more in the way of Phalaenopsis species than they used to (most of which I've already purchased and are growing away nicely).

Next is Renanthopsis Newberry Charm. I'm quite partial to these intergeneric hybrids featuring Phalaenopsis. The cross here is Renanthera Brookie Chandler x Phalaenopsis philippinensis. You may remember that I am already growing Renanthopsis Mildred Jameson and it isn't giving me any trouble (apart from not flowering since I got it) so I'm confident that this one will do equally well.

The plant is flowering size, but I can't see any evidence of old flower spikes, so I'll have to play it by ear. I expect they'll both flower at the same time. I wonder if some cooler nights might be what is needed. Worth a try. I'm glad these grow well for me because Renanthera really don't seem to like being grown in a pot and I almost lost mine through not changing the potting medium as soon as I got it. As it stands, the plant seems over the worst and has produced a new root (Renanthera never produce many roots). Renanthopsis, however, seem perfectly happy to grow in a pot like any other Phalaenopsis, although they do root from further up the stem than Phalaenopsis do so there tend to be a lot of aerial roots.

Next up is Angraecum sororium. I'm not overly familiar with this species and I have read (once I got home) that it is a cool growing, high elevation species so it might not have been a wise move.

Once again, this is a young plant (or several plants) with a good deal of growing to do before reaching flowering size. Once I see concrete signs of growth, I'll feel more confident about this species. It is also one of the large species, and mature plants are a tuft of leaves on top of a bare stem Still, the flowers will be beautiful as you'd expect from an Angraecum species. It might be that I'll decide to separate out the individual plants, but by the same token if I'm going to end up with a length of bare stem it might be better left in a clump. I'll just have to keep an eye on it and see what it does.

Next up is Aerangis macrocentra. I'm getting into these Aerangis species in a big way. I only hope they take to me as much.

This is ostensibly an young plant but it is a miniature species anyway so probably isn't that far off flowering size. There were three plants in the pot, which I have potted separately. We'll see how they do. There isn't a great deal more to say about this until it wakes up and does something so watch this space.

Next up is an impulse buy of Dendrochilum coccineum. This is a relatively newly discovered and, therefore, still quite rare species. If I'm absolutely honest, this isn't the best plant in the world but I'm hoping it'll perk up once I've had it for a while.

It was buried rather too deep in the growing medium which was causing new growths to rot off. I have scraped away some of the bark chips to expose the pseudobulbs so hopefully that'll put it right. When I saw this, I couldn't resist because it has red flowers and I' haven't got a red flowered Dendrochilum. I'm quite excited to flower it.

Finally, I have ended up with yet another colour form of Coelogyne speciosa. This is a good sized plant, and the only one I got that was in flower. In the nursery, I was told that this was an old flower, but I have had it in my growroom for well over a week and it shows no sign of going over yet.

The flower is large and quite yellow with almost red in the throat. It is also very strongly scented (not in a good way, alas!) which is something I've not noticed on any of my other plants of this species despite sticking my nose right in them every time they bloom. I was told in the nursery that this plant originally came from New Zealand and is reputed to be a truer form of the species than the other forms they sell (C. speciosa 'burnham' may turn out to be an entirely different species or even a hybrid). I'm pleased to have got hold of another form of it, whatever it is.

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