Friday, February 25, 2011

Frog Friday! Ambrosia

With only a few hours of Friday left, it feels like I'm filing my report right against the deadline. This week, San Francisco somehow managed to crawl onto the mounted Ludisia discolor for a nice view of the vivarium and her fellow frogs. This is my second Ludisia from Michel Orchid Nursery and it's extra special. It's the clone 'Ambrosia' JC/AOS and the flowers have an incredible cinnamon smell. (You can buy your own here). I smelled 'Ambrosia' in bloom at the Kansas City Orchid Show and immediately knew I had to have it. I'm not sure if it's blooming size, but at least San Francisco is enjoying it in the meantime. The plant looks a little stressed and it might take a few more weeks to adjust to its new location, but the other Ludisia is the only orchid that hasn't died in vivarium so I'm going to stay the course for now. Happy Friday!

Solving for [(Makuli - Curtisii) - Maudiae x Maudiae 'Napa Valley' HCC/AOS x sib]

You may recall my lust for Windy Hill's Paph. Maudiae 'Bankhouse' AM/AOS and my desire to purchase a Maudiae type for my collection. I found my Maudiae, in bud, from Bird's Botanicals. It's starting to look gorgeous, but the pouch needs to fill out more.

It's Paph. Hsinying Makakun, but you would never know that from reading the tag. The tag reads: (Makuli - Curtisii) - Maudiae x Maudiae 'Napa Valley' HCC/AOS x sib. Got that? I was confused, too, so I went to the Internet. This is a very popular plant, I discovered, but everyone is selling it under the confusing tag.

A thread on the Slipper Orchid Forum clarified things for me. First, some orchid vendors from Asian countries use dashes to indicate a cross. Also, Paph. curtisii is now called Paph. superbiens var. curtisii. From there, John Marcotte of explains that the tag should read:
Paph. ((Makuli x superbiens var. curtisii) x Maudiae) x (Paph. Maudiae 'Napa Valley' HCC/AOS x sib.)

Marcotte clarifies further
Makuli x superbiens var. curtisii =
Paph. Memoria Allegria Gutierrez

Paph. Memoria Allegria Gutierrez x Paph. Maudiae = Paph. Janet Kunkle

So, the pod parent is Paph. Janet Kunkle and the pollen parent is Paph. Maudiae 'Napa Valley' HCC/AOS x sib. 

Finally, Janet Kunkle x Maudiae is registerd as Paph. Hsinying Majakun. Problem solved!

So, why does the tag creator insist on the Napa Valley word salad? I can think of a few reasons. First, by tagging the plant simply as Paph. Hsinying Majakun it fails to convey to the consumer that the awarded clone Paph. Maudiae 'Napa Valley' HCC/AOS is in the background. But how important is a 40-year-old HCC, and why not list the plant as: Paph. Janet Kunkle x Paph. Maudiae 'Napa Valley' HCC/AOS x sib?  Maybe listing "Maudiae" twice on the tag reinforces the idea that consumers are getting a Maudiae type Paph?

In any case, I feel bad for Ching Hua (the originator of the cross) and Hsinying Majakun, so I'm making a second tag.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."

Competitive flower shows are a lot like Conan the Barbarian. Orchid hobbyists that talk like members of Thulsa Doom's cult, plants with names like 'Sorcerer's Apprentice,' and the occasional bloom beheading are all part of the experience. It's natural and obvious that violent scenes from Conan should race through my mind when I see my plants adorned with award ribbons. Right?

On the other hand, my "enemies" are likely my friends from the Orchid Society, or the vendors from whom I shop, or the nice folks from out-of-state Orchid Societies. I'll see most of them next month, if not sooner, so the "see them driven before you" thing doesn't quite ring true. And the "lamentations of their women" line seems as weird and inappropriate as it did in 1982. 

So, maybe the Conan/orchid comparison needs more thought.
Griffin, Sabine, and Riley guarding the Brassavola

Although I have no tongue for it, my pleas to Crom were answered and my Brassavola Little Stars 'Yasuji Takasaki' had a great run this winter (check out Sabine's maintenance of it last year). It won Plant of the Month at my Orchid Society and a blue ribbon for the Brassavola class (and a white ribbon for specimen plant) at the Kansas City Orchid Show. Whoo! The last two flowers opened today and I've instructed the kitties to tend to it until next year's adventures.    

Friday, February 18, 2011

Winding Down from Kansas City

Den. Roy Tokunaga
grower/exhibitor Mark Prout
As usual, I have the least amount of time to write when I have the greatest amount of material to write about. The Kansas City Orchid Show was last week and it was a remarkable success by all accounts. Three of our Society members won AOS awards, several won show awards, and my B. Little Stars won a blue ribbon for Brassovolas and a white ribbon for specimen plants. The out of town guests and vendors seemed to have a good time, too.

I didn't take enough photos. I had four days, but they were busy days and I didn't have many opportunities for a lengthy photo session. And I had to shop. A Maudiae type Paph. in the Windy Hill exhibit at the St. Louis show was totally mesmerizing and I've been looking for one since. I found one in bud -- not the same Windy Hill one, but something that would satisfy the craving for the time being. I'll have photos soon! 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Nobby's Griffin

Griffin was posing like a super model today so I took a few photos. Here, she's framed by a spike from Phal. Nobby's Amy and a pseudobulb from a mounted Rvc. David Sander. She looks like Dr. Zhivago Kitty with the snow in the background, and that over-the-shoulder look is classic Griffin. One might get the impression that she's a good and normal cat from this picture, and sometimes I think she might be.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Moss People Invade St. Louis

The exhibit organizers were going for a Mayan theme, but sometimes it felt like Nilbog from the movie Troll 2, a place taken over by goblins who turn people into plants. But who invaded St. Louis and turned the ancient Mayans into moss people? I don't think it's trolls, since there weren't any in Troll 2. Goblins seem equally implausible. My best guess is that members of the Red Hat Society are behind it, but I lack solid proof.

Cybidium Desert Sand
The moss people were a nice touch and a reminder that orchid displays involve more than stacking up a bunch of plants. A lot of the conversational snippets I overheard centered on the moss displays instead of the plants. I suppose that's okay, especially if an appreciation of the moss artistry leads people to look the orchids surrounding it. Still, I had a sneaking suspicion that the Red Hat ladies were injecting unsuspecting tourists with green moss, and that we  could become moss people if we walked too close to a pack of Red Hats. It was a scary thought.