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  Photos in this issue: Above Eulophia species Ceylon. Rodriguezia venusta, Nervilia uniflora, Phalaenopsis gibbosa.
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A. What's New in flask.

Eulophia species Ceylon. This is so far unidentified, any suggestions would be welcome (photo above). A subterrainium tuber, with a single or paired narrow, plicate leaf to 30cm long ( 12 inches), this requires a rich soil leafmould media in a well drained pot. Decidous in winter, a repot each spring is of benefit. Maximum sunlight, short of leaf burn, and a warm spot in the orchid house.
Bulbophyllum patens. A robust growing species that needs a shallow tray or a piece of treefern to wrap around. A media that will hold some moisture or well watered treefern and maximum sunlight is needed. The flowers are a waxy ruby red, with some fine red spotting, borne on short upright pedicels along the rhizome in quantity.


B. What's ready to replate NOW.

Paphiopedilum primulinum. A sib cross between two very nicely coloured yellow, tinged green clones.
Stanhopea costaricense, a warm growing 'upside down orchid' that when mature, will need a basket so that its flower spike can go thru the basket and the flowers hang beneath. Large flowers to 12.5cm ( 5 inch), pale cream yellow with pale redbrown spots and blotches, very fragrant, and quite spectacular.
Small plants are best grown in a well drained spaghnam moss or similar mix, as they appreciate being damp but not soggy wet.
Phalaenopsis gibbosa is a rare species, similar in growth to P. parishii and P. lobbii. It seems to do best on a slab, treefern if available or a piece of cork bark with extra water. In the cooler months, water should be withheld short of dehydrating the plants. It is reputed to be a warm growing jungle plant that grows in heavy shade.


C. What's new in Plants.

Specimen plants Dendrochilum cobbianum and Dendrochilum magnum.
These are multigrowth plants, grown in a mixture of spaghnam moss and isolite. Both species do well in an intermediate to warm climate, with plenty of sunlight. The flowers are borne on long spikes that go up then hang down, with masses of fragrant flowers. D cobbianum is pale green white, and D magnum is orange.
Rodriguezia venusta, a robust somewhat Oncid like plant which grows well in a small basket or on a treefern slab.
Currently, flowering size plants are growing well in 80mm basket pots in a mix of spaghnam moss and isolite, with similar light conditions to that required by Dendrobiums.
Paphiopedilum primulinum, a clear yellow, tinged with green lady slipper orchid.
These do well in a media that drains well but retains some moisture, and where they get good light. Currently in 10cm pots in a mix of composted bark and isolite.

Nervilia uniflora. Now is the time to ship this terrestrial, while the tubers are dormant and ready to shoot up with warmth and water.
A small tuber puts up an attractive heart shaped leaf, green, purple underneath, best grown in a small pot in a leafmould rich soil media. While growing maximise water and grow in a good shady spot as it is a dweller of the edges of rainforest in heavy shade.

Photo: Nervilia uniflora
Flower above
Plant right


D. Culture

The monopodial orchids are those that have a continuous growing stem, from very short as in Phalaenopsis , to very long as in terete Vandas. Aerides, Ascocentrum, Renanthera,Vanda and the like, are mostly orchids from the tropics, where they receive high humidity and rainfall. They use their roots to both nourish and attach themselves to trees , rock faces or just suspend themselves from the branches.
Thus to grow these plants well, they require something to attach to, and warmth, water and humidity when growing. Baskets offer a good solution for the usual rampant root systems of these plants. Wire or wood or plastic will do. The basket should be large enough to allow for future growth, and be of a managable size.
The roots of the plants should be wound into the basket, and securely tied to hold the plant firm. Large pieces of treefern, bark, charcoal or even coconut husk can then be used to fill around the roots in the basket. This media then supplies some nutrients as it slowly breaks down. In very high rainfall/humidity areas, wooden slat baskets can be sufficient, but extra fertilising would be required.
Plant roots will eventually engulf the basket and grow down to form long aerial roots, which feed from nutrients from the basket media and fertilising, when watered.
Once established, fertiliser on a regular basis is beneficial. A piece of hard dry cow manure or pelletised fowl manure sitting on top of the basket may not be aesthetically pleasing, but is certainly effective.
Roots should be trimmed to keep them off the ground and away from soil borne pathogens, fungus, bacteria etc. Under bench misting sprays in drier areas can help keep humidity up and aerial roots healthy. When spraying for fungus, insects etc, attention should be paid to the bushhouse floor and surrounds, so that problems do not literally grow from the roots up.
For the orchids that do not grow erect, baskets can be used either tilted or with the plants secured to the side. Tilting has the advantage of keeping water out of the leaf crown and the plant within the confines of the basket space.When planting a basket, quick specimens can be produced by growing 3 or so plants together.


E. Did you know ?

The USA Department of Agriculture recommends that imported flasks have clear to translucent media without added charcoal, as this is in contravention of the import laws enacted a long time ago.
A moratorium has been declared, and it is hoped the laws will be changed to allow the use of activated charcoal in orchid flask media.
Currently, we have dispensed with the use of charcoal until this is acceptable.


F. Humour.

An American boarded an English train and found the seats occupied by a man and a woman with a large dog also on the seat.
The American asked the woman to put the dog on the floor, she refused and rudely told him that they were there first and that he could stand.
With that, he picked up the dog and threw it out into the corridor.
The Englishman piped up "You Americans, always getting it wrong, you just threw the wrong bitch out the window."

Found on peoples emails!
I got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
A woman complaining about her golf playing husband " Really, the only thing we have in common is that we both got married on the same day."

How about these warnings on an appliance??
On crayons: Not to be used as house paint
On pantyhose: Not to be used in the commission of a felony.
On a blender: Not for use as an aquarium.
On a microscope: Objects are smaller and less alarming than they appear.


G. Books.



  Suppliers of Fine Orchid Literature  

Grahame & Margaret Muller
Phone: 07 4122 1251
Fax: 07 4122 4539 International Fax: + 61 7 4122 4539
P O Box 4192 Tinana, Qld, AUSTRALIA 4650.

ORCHIDACEOUS BOOKS is an Australian specialist supplier of orchid literature.
We stock more than 100 new titles with more available at short notice.
We buy and sell pre-owned titles and generally stock in excess of 150 pre-owned titles.
If you are searching for a particular title - New or Pre-owned - email us now for our current catalogue as we may have it in stock or may be able to source it for you.
All stock available for world wide delivery


H. A special note on flasking orchids.

Due to the need for a filtered air vent on flasks to allow exchange of gasses, a reliable air filter medium is needed.
Non absorbant cotton wool allows gas exchange but does not absorb moisture. Thus the air filter will stay dry and prevent the growth of fungus thru the filter, a common problem with ordinary cotton wool which gets wet, goes mouldy and allows the mould to grow thru the filter to contaminate the flask.
Non Absorbant Cottonwool NOW AVAILABLE in 375 gram rolls, contact us NOW.