BP SPECIES NEWSLETTER July 2001
00 Aug Sept
01 Feb Mar April May June
- NEWS FLASH: MACODES LOWII see notes and illustration
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- A. What's New in Flask; Dendrobium atroviolaceum,
Stanhopea tigrina "Supberba" Lecoufle, Macodes lowii (illustration from
L.Linden, L'Illustration Horticole).
- B. What's Ready to
replate; Phalaenopsis gibbosa, Phal lueddemanniana, Phal
- C. What's New in Plants; Leptotes unicolor, Coryanthes
leucocorys, Nervilia discolor.
- D. Culture; Orchids in the wild, Sunday
- E. Web Site www.speciesorchids.com.
- F. Humour.
- G. Subscribe or Unsubscribe this newsletter.
Right; Macodes lowii (illustration
from L.Linden, L'Illustration Horticole), Photos in this issue:
Nervilia discolor, Nervilia peltata, Habenaria
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A. What's New
Macodes lowii. A semiterrestrial species that is found
growing naturally in leafy humus and moss on shaded rocks. Plants should thus
be grown in a well drained media in shallow containers, with a media that will
stay damp but not wet. A shallow terracotta saucer is perhaps the ideal
container. After flowering, the plants should be rested somewhat drier until
the new growth starts.
The leaves reach a size of about 7 cms (3 inches)
long and half as wide, dark green to black green, with fine filigree-like
iridescent metallic red to pink veins, purple underneath.
Related to Macodes javanica and
petola, the plants are grown for the very beautiful foliage, the
flowers are quite small, pinkish and finely furry. Shade requirements are
similar to that for the mottled leaf Paphiopedilum and
A native of lands of high rainfall, humidity
should be kept high unless the plant is resting. Macodes lowii
is a jewel orchid suitable for terrainium and window sill culture,
as are the other jewel orchids like Dossinia, Ludisia
(Haemaria), Goodyera and
Anoectochilus. A large plant with a long rhizome can usually be
cut halfway along the rhizome to produce another growing shoot, best
done as the rhizome starts new growth after its resting period.
Dendrobium atroviolaceum, a small to medium size plant
with clusters of cream yellow flowers, the lip is veined dark violet. A
latourea species from New Guinea, requires a small pot and well drained media
that will stay damp but not wet.
Stanhopea tigrina "Superba" an outstanding flower form
raised from seed from Lecoufle, Paris. Huge cream yellow flowers barred
dark purple chocolate. Robust grower, very fragrant, requires a basket and a
fine media such as spaghnam moss or bark mixture.
B. What's ready to replate
Phalaenopsis gibbosa, a minature species related to
Phal. lobbi and Phal. parishi, this has pale purple pink
flowers. A jungle plant from Vietnam, it does best on a mount, treefern if
available, or in a very small pot, with heavy shade.
Phalaenopsis lueddemanniana from the Philippines is a
showy waxy pale pink to cream with red purple bars. Deliciously scented, it
grows readily and will also produce kkeikis that can be tied back to the
basket or mount to produce a clump. Does best in a small basket or a large
piece of treefern.
Phalaenopsis pantherina from Borneo is the large,
brighter coloured version of Phal cornu cervi. The flowers are glossy
yellow with red brown bars, on a spike that progressively flowers. Another
basket subject, or slab with extra water.
C. What's new in
Leptotoes unicolor, on small pieces of cork. This
is a minature clumping species with small terete leaves, and proportionaly
large pink waxy flowers. Grow under the same light conditions as
Dendrobium, with extra water for plants growing on a slab of cork or
Coryanthes leucocorys, a Bucket orchid, with huge
fantastic white and red flowers. Best grown in a small basket in a fine media
that will stay damp, hanging to avoid chewing pests, in a fairly shady, warm
area. These are growing well in 7cm basket pots in a mix of spaghnam and
Nervilia discolor, a showy Jewel orchid type plant, with
Laelia like purple flowers. These plants a have now gone dormant for
the Australian winter, so dormant tubers are best sent August for the
Australian Spring or for the late Northern June 2001.
A terrestrtial species, best grown in a rich leafmould sandy soil mix,
in a deep pot. The flower precedes the new leaf in spring, and once in spike,
should be watered heavily. While resting, keep barely damp.
The track was overgrown, disappearing, but recognisable enough to take me
back many years to a time of fond companions eagerly exploring the edges
of the creek.
The creek, an unbroken canopied corridor
through wet melaleuca flats and open eucalyptus forest, was host to a
fascinating array of orchid species, inviting exploration.
Under the canopy, on the top of the bank, a colony
of Nervilia dallachyana, hugging the well drained slope of
leafmould rich soil, glistened green and purple flushed green, beautiful heart
shaped, veined leaves. Named after an early
Queensland surveyor and
pathfinder, his botanical immortality sadly lost with the reclassification of
the species to Nervilia
discolor, and then yet
again to Nervilia plicata. Photo above left, below
right Nervilia plicata.
A short distance away, in
the shade of a large eucalypt, on a small patch of bare
ground was our first exciting find. Looking more like little grey
green mushrooms, flat on the ground, barely an inch across, were the leaves of
a new Nervilia. There was about a dozen of them, carefully
counted on each subsequent visit in search of flowers which were never found.
We speculated, perhaps this was the long lost
Further out in
the eucalypt forest, we did unknowingly find this lost species in the pure
sparkling white flowers of Didymoplexis pallens, a
saprophyte. Seen years later, a drawing of the holotype of Nervilia
pachystomoides clearly showed its true identity as the
Didymoplexis. A little gem, hiding in the grass tussocks.
Squatting in the grass, debating the identity of
Pachystoma holtzei; was this an orchid or merely a common look
alike?, a plicate leafed, grass like plant. The buried tuber, distinctively
shaped, like that of a thin drawn out Eulophia tuber, confirmed
its identity. The flowers came later, pale pink green, the lip with a green
the same area was Calochilus holtzei, its bright red metallic
coloured flowers on a spike a metre or more tall, and around the grass trees,
colonies of Spiculea iritabilis.
Out of the forest, into the wet melaleuca flat, the ground soggy, the habitat
of Habenarias anomala, ferdinandii and ochroleuca
and one or two other species, their green white plume spikes scattered through
the grass beneath the teatrees. The teatrees held Dendrobium
canaliculatum, and button orchids, really a Distidia, and ant plants
with aggressive inhabitANTS.
There too grew an
unidentified Calochilus, smaller than the Calochilus
holtzei, also with beautiful metallic coloured flowers.
Back into the shade of the creek's canopy, growing at
the bottom of the bank, was another exciting find in large leafy plants
of Habenaria sumatrana, its tiny pure white flowers, with
a distinctive 3 lobed lip, borne on foot high spikes. A long way from its
holotype location in Sumatra, but wide spread throughout Indonesia, Malaysia,
New Guinea and there blooming in a shady creek in Queensland.
Sharing its habitat, thin wiry plants of
Apostasia stylidioides produced tiny yellow flowers, not orchid
like at all.
was overgrown, disappearing, and as I followed long ago footsteps, the present
bought a scenery of change.
Gone was the unbroken
canopy, raggedly cut by power lines and towers, rough roads bulldozed over the
creek, to make way for cattle and tractor slashers.
Gone was the colony of
Nervillia discolor, a road gutter in its place. Gone the
treasured grey green mushroom Nervillia, a bush tractor
shed and oil drums in its place.
Gone were the
Calochilus and Pachystoma and
Spiculea, a slashed field for cattle left behind.
Gone were the Habenarias,
Dendrobiums, and the melaleuca flat, a pine plantation instead.
Gone were the Habenaria sumatrana,
its shelter destroyed, and cattle left to tread the banks into eroded paths.
Only the Apostasia somehow maintained a hold in the
shelter of some Lantana shrub.
second colony of little grey green mushroom Nervilias,
(Photo above left, and right, N.peltata), found years
after the first, captured on an island between the old highway and the new,
deprived of the periodic fire burn off, covered and smothered with leafmould
and debris, deprived of sunlight, gone.
saprophtic Didymoplexis found the leafmould and
debris a rich boon, having no leaves in need of sunlight, their elegant white
flowers rising above the carpet of leaves.
third colony of the grey green mushroom Nervilia,
(recently named Nervilia peltata) still exists,
precariously 6 inches from a 4wheeldrive fisherman’s track, about a
dozen little plants growing on the edge of destruction.
Photographs and text
by Ian Walters, Burleigh Park Orchid Nursery,
54 Hammond Way, Thuringowa,
species may have changed with progress and botanists’ views, but these were
the species we found and their names at the time. For more
Photo right Habenaria ochroleuca
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Humour.A prospective father in law was talking
to his daughters fiance....
".......and what are your job prospects, son
Boy: "I hope to study the Bible and religion"
"...and will that be enough to support a wife"
Boy: "The Lord will
Father: "...and will you be able to support a wife
and children if that eventuates?"
Boy: "The Lord will provide"
Father, discussing this with his wife.
Wife: "What did you make of our
future son in law?"
Father: "Well, the bad news is he does not have much
prospects in the way of a job and a living, but the goods news is, he thinks
On a maiden a man once begat,
Bouncing triplets, Pat, Nat and Tat,
Twas fun in the breedling,
But Hell in the feeding,
have a spare tit fot tat.
A woman went to the post office to buy stamps for her Christmas
"What denomination?" asked the clerk.
"Oh, good heavens! Have we
come to this?" said the woman.
"Well,give me 50 Church of England and 50
Catholic ones please."
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Email us at www.speciesorchids.com
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