This week for the One Word Photo Challenge it’s Mauve!
Girl do I have some Mauve for you! 😉 I have some splendid Orchids for this challenge going back to January when I visited the Grand Valley Orchid Society 2015 Show, then to the Batavia Orchid Society 2015 Show, & finally some from the Illinois Orchid Society 2015 Show. Purple and all its shades have always been favorites of mine, everyone who knows me knows that. I mean, come on guys, can you blame me? But of course as an adult it all depends on the day. As a child purple was my all time favorite but each year I think my other favorites varied.
When I think of my own collection honestly I have greens, purples, pinks, orange-reddish ones (oh wait till I share my new Huntleya with you!), whites, yellows, reds, and honestly I have quite a few I have yet to witness in bloom. Anywho, so here’s some lovely mauve candidates:
Barkeria whartoniana is a naturally occurring species in Oaxaca, Mexico, commonly known as Wharton’s Barkeria. It is found at low elevations and can even grow on cactus, often subject to high winds and dry spells (according to Marni Turkel’s website). It is a member of the Epidendreae tribe, subtribe: Laeliinae, and is a cousin to Cattleyas.
Hey hey more orchid sparkles for you! Next time you see an orchid look at the bloom up close and I’ll bet it’s got some sparkles. 😉 The above is a Vandaceous hybrid, more on them in the future (finally got my first one!).
Iwanagara (Iwan.) is yet another Cattleya intergeneric. The cross is made up of Brassavola x Cattleya x Diacrium x Laelia. They are said to be grown the same as Cattleyas.
Had to give you a close up of some more sparkles, this one had lots! For more Phalaenopsis images start HERE.
The above orchid was actually one being sold by a vendor. The ‘C’ stands for Cattleya, follow the link for previous posts and pics I’ve shared of Cattleyas including a bit about their care. The next photo is also of a plant that was for sale at the show.
Zygonisia is a hybrid cross of Zygopetalum & Aganisia. In this case, a plant from my collection currently in bloom, the parents are Aganisia cyanea x Zygopetalum Skippy Ku. You’ll see here that cyanea is lower case while Skippy Ku is capitalized; this is because cyanea is a species (a naturally occurring orchid) whereas Skippy Ku is a man-made hybrid. Now if you look at the name of my Zygonisia, Cynosure is the resultant hybrid or grex from the two parents, while ‘Blue Water Sailing’ is put in single quotations and capitalized distinguishing it as a cultivar. Cultivars are given when a particular species or cross gives an exceptional flower. For example, Zygonisia Cynosure has many cultivars: ‘Blue Water Sailing’, ‘Bluebirds’, ‘Alba’. The last, ‘alba’, is actually a mutation and produces mostly if not all white flowers. I have all three of these cultivars and they all have stories of their own I can share with you since they came under my care. I’ll come back to Zygos this weekend and my current obsession with them. (Click HERE to see another of my Zygo hybrids in bloom.)
One last bit on naming: if a plant is propagated vegetatively – i.e. divisions, keikis, or mericlones – they are genetically identical (essentially clones) therefore they’ll share the same cultivar name as the parent. This way growers, distributors, and buys alike know what their plant will look like.
I’m proud to say that while I bought this plant in bloom with 3 spikes and more than 3 blooms per spike I did manage to bloom this plant again although with only 3 blooms on this spike (the third is hiding upside-down behind the first here). Number and quality of spikes and blooms are a few things that orchid growers/collectors such as myself strive to improve upon. You might buy a plant from a big box store with 2 tall spikes with half a dozen or more blooms on each. Then you get it home flowers eventually die, but the next time it blooms – if you get it to – you might get one spike with just a couple of blooms. The factors that influence your spikes, bloom count, and their size and color include how often and how much you water; how often, how much, & with what you fertilize; light exposure both intensity & duration; as well as the medium it’s potted in, humidity, and air circulation. Then it’s up to the plant how much it thinks – based on your care – it can devote to reproduction (aka blooming).
While I’ve done well enough to bloom this plant again it did only bloom on one of the two new growths it produced. Next time, next time friends we’ll see…