The Southern Ontario Orchid Society Show is this coming weekend (February 13 & 14) and I’m looking to be prepared this year. Last year I was barely starting out in orchids and went with a short list of things to look out for in the show and things to try to buy. At the end of the day I was overwhelmed by the massive range of plants exhibited and available and walked away with only one plant, my Aerangis biloba and a much increased desire to know more about orchids.
Dendrochilum sp., Picture taken at SOOS Show, 2009
Over the past year (past two months especially) I have read so much about orchids, learned a lot and collected a few. I’ve decided to focus my collection over the next year on primarily the groups of orchids I have had most success with – Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum (had success but not so much looking to increase numbers here), Angraecoid orchids (possibly one of my favourite groups of orchids) and Jewel orchids. Oncidiums are likely a group I will be branching out into so I will not rule them out here.
Dendrobiums are something I will be looking into eventually but not yet – I don’t really have anywhere suitable to give even the most forgiving hybrids the winter rest they need. Dens also need brighter light than I can promise them. Cattleyas need more light as well so I’ll be holding off on more of those for the time being as well, though if the ones I already have start to do well that will change. That won’t be this week at any rate so for this year no Catts.
Odbrs. Fangtastic Bob Henley, Picture taken at SOOS Show, 2009
This flower reminds me of a ripe banana and I think I’d buy one if I saw it for sale.
So this year I fully intend to buy at least:
One of Aerangis fastuosa (supposed to be amazingly fragrant with a “sweet and spicy” fragrance that can fill a room from a single 1″ flower on a 3″ plant) or Angraecum didieri (Tabbie describes the fragrance: “Early in the evening the pale green and white star begins to smell like a spicy sweet melon. Later the fragrance becomes darker and more intense, exuding scents which are sometimes musky, sometimes laced with smoke, and sometimes exactly like black licorice or sweet anise candies.” I would be very tempted to get both. Both are hot growers (Ang. didieri being more adaptable to cooler temperatures as well though that doesn’t matter much in my terrarium) suitable for low light and prefer humid conditions, so either would be best suited to life in my terrarium, in my bedroom.
Miltonia spectabilis var. moreliana is one I wrote about previously. Another flower described as being like black black licorice. Strange, I don’t even like black licorice that much as a candy but it’s interesting in a flower.
Macodes sanderiana/petola or another Jewel orchid of some sort, as I wrote about previously. My Ludisia discolor is growing well enough for me I’m confident I can manage a few more that take the same growing conditions, which is basically all of them. After seeing some pictures of jewel orchids in situ I can much better appreciate their needs. My Ludisia discolor spike is also developing very well and I saw a small specimen of M. sanderiana at the SOOS Meeting and they are even more amazing than any picture can show. Unlike a Ludisia the stripes sparkle as light hits them from certain angles.
If I either can’t find any of the above plants (or have money left over) then I would consider:
Cattleya Minerva (I could make room in a south window for something this nice)
Miltassia Shelob ‘Webmaster’
I imagine at this point I’ll have run out of money but I may buy something else that catches my eye if I still have money or can’t find anything else on the list.
Dendrobium kingianum, Picture taken at SOOS Show, 2009
Another thing I will do is where possible record the names of the orchids I take pictures of. I think from last year I can figure out at least the group each orchid is from though after the show I found myself very confused about some things… Such as everything to do with the Dendrobium purpureum var. alba below. So this year, snap a shot of the name after getting the flower.
Dendrobium purpureum var. alba, Picture taken at SOOS Show, 2009