Monday, April 18, 2011

Fred's Lan Lan

This looks like a cat and orchid disaster, but Lan Lan pulled back at the last moment and left the flower intact. Lan Lan was showing (too much) interest in Dtps. Fred's Redlip (Phal. Devon Ace x Dtps. Ilse of Beauty). I'm not sure the lip is, indeed, red, but we're dealing with dominant and recessive traits and the many unknowns that make up flower hybridizing. I love the sparkling white petals and the flatness of the flowers.
Fred Bergman is a longtime member of the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City and he's well-known for his hybridizing efforts. OrchidWiz lists over 250 registered crosses and I know he's created hundreds more. Almost all of his plants are named 'Fred's ____.' 

Fred ran the Beginner Group for my orchid society and I always tried to attend. Fred approaches orchids like a scientist and has little patience for untested theories, remedies, and folk advice. In Beginner Group he always emphasized the flexibility of orchids' cultural needs and the necessity to find out what works with your particular growing set-up. I could see how this approach could frustrate some who want a bottom-line answer to a question like "how often should I water?" but it was a very familiar outlook for me having grown up with a father and mother in the science and medical fields respectively. Fred is skeptical of the supposed benefits of reverse-osmosis water, the power of Michigan State fertilizer, and the hottest trends in non-decomposing potting media. His success with tap water, urea-based fertilizer, and peat mix is ample evidence for his skepticism.

So, it was a great moment at our orchid society meeting when Al Clinton revealed that he had named one of his Masdevallia crosses after Fred (Masd. Fred Bergman, which is Masd. striatella x Masd. Gold Purse.). It was an extremely cool looking flower. Our Orchid Society blogger, Jami Parkinson, recorded the moment and has a nice post about the event here. All of this goes to show that the flowers might draw someone into the orchid cult, but it's the good people one meets along the way that sustains the addiction.

1 comment:

Tasha Dono said...

That was a lovely post. Lan Lan is acting very "worst Kitty-ish" in this photo. I am very happy she was simply being curious.