Saturday, 15 April 2017

Spring update

I must apologise to you, dear readers. I hadn't realised it had been quite so long since my last instalment but, looking back, I can see that I haven't given you an update since January which is very remiss of me indeed. It's not that nothing has been going on; far from it. I have taken on extra hours at work, and I have also been busy at my allotment (yes, I also like to grow my own vegetables!), so as you can imagine, I have had quite a lot going on and my blog has suffered as a result.

Now we have arrived at April and I have started to water twice weekly rather than once as I find the orchids are drying out rather more than I would have liked. We have been lucky enough to enjoy some nice warm sunny spring weather, so it has been getting very warm in the growroom and I have been opening the window during the day to let out some of the heat (it has been getting into the high 20s centirgrade every day in there and I don't like temperatures to get to 30C if I can prevent it. The result is that the humidity has been rather lower than I would like and the plants have been dryer than usual, especially close to the window. Twice weekly watering seems to suit the plants very well, and many plants are now putting on strong new growth. The speciosa type Coelogyne are mostly flowering and I am very impressed with this year's blooming. Here are a few photos.

Coelogyne speciosa 'Burhnam'. This used to be known as C. speciosa 'salmonicolor' but there is already a C. salmonicolor so it can't be called that anymore. This is a nice form of C. speciosa which has very pale flowers which lack the brown lip markings that are so typical of the species. There are three new growths on this plant despite my recent repotting, so it should be a good clumper and flowerer.

This is the regular form of C. speciosa which has also come into flower. This plant is also recently potted on and seems to be settling in well. There are two growing points on this plant despite it being quite small. Note the slightly darker flower colour and the brown lip markings that were absent from the earlier photo.

I bought this plant as Coelogyne salmonicolor x usitana. I take this to mean Coelogyne speciosa var. salmonicolor (as was)  x usitana which makes it a very similar cross to C. Lyme Bay (Lyme bay uses C. speciosa var. incarnata as its parent). I was informed by a friend that this cross was registered in 2014 and is now more correctly known as Coelogyne Orchideengarten Joachim. I'm not sure which is harder to say to be honest, but the plant is magnificent. It takes after its usitana parent in size but has inherited nice short flower spikes from speciosa. It seems very willing to make two shoots per mature pseudobulb so it is clumping up very fast and there are five new growths this time around (so far), most of which will produce flowers.

Not my best photo here, and also a new acquisition, but this is the greenest form of C. speciosa I have found for sale. The flower is quite large and, unusually, is quite pleasantly scented. I just couldn't resist it. It seems a nice plant; compact but with a couple of lead growths and I notice a second flower spike has emerged.

Coelogyne prolifera. This is the only proper yellow Coelogyne species I have. It came from  Orchideengarten Karge in Germany a few months ago. It had two flower spikes on already but has taken some time to produce buds. This species is a little unusual among Coelogyne in that the flower spikes can produce flowers for several years if left on the plant. It is meant to be a cool grower but it is romping away in my warm conditions with two new growths and a new flower spike emerging. The two existing spikes are now producing flowers. They are, undeniably, tiny. It will never be a showy species but I think its pretty.

Coelogyne Neroli Cannon. I've had this plant for around 18 months now and this is its second blooming. A successive bloomer, it looks like there will be several flowers this time, and the plant has produced a second lead growth so there should be two spikes next year.

Coelogyne Orchideengarten Clara. I got this from Orchideengarten Karge at the same time as C. prolifera. This is a slightly odd hybrid involving C. lentil soup (lentiginosa x speciosa) and C. xyrekes. I am pleased to see that it has inherited the nice bronze colour of the new foliage and the almost pinkish tinge to the flowers. It was a well established plant when it arrived, and grows very quickly indeed. I have removed the moss it was growing in and replaced it with medium bark chips and the plant has responded with a flush of new growth and two flower spikes. The blooms are smaller than most of my speciosa types and take much more after the C. xyrekes parent.

As you can see, I've had plenty to keep me busy and this is by no means all that is in flower. I will attempt to post more regularly in future. In the meantime, enjoy the photos!


  1. Great pictures Kevin, and Happy May Day.

  2. Great pictures Kevin, and Happy May Day.