Monday, December 19, 2011

Sukhakulii Without the Warts

I've discussed my affinity for the Brachypetulam subgenus in a number of blog posts, most notably in the "Brachypetalum: Church of the Subgenus" series. But I'm finding myself increasingly drawn to the Barbatum Alliance. I love Maudiae types: regal, classic, and all-around awesome. I also like that I can grow these plants without much drama. They seem to like my setup. Paph. sukhakulii is one of the most important species of the subgenus. It's recognizable with its warts and hairs. It's a freaky looking thing and definitely an "acquired taste." So, I was a little skeptical when I purchased this one from Windy Hill.

But I love it! Oh my goodness! It's Paph. sukhakulii var. aureum ('Green Eagle' x 'Green Ghost'), so it's got green going on all day long. You can buy one here. The crazy hairs and warts characteristic of sukhakulii just aren't there, and I like it like that.    

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Nerd Nite!

Isn't this the coolest flower you've ever seen? This is Paph. Makuli (sukhakulii var. aureum 'Green Eagle' x Maudiae 'The Queen' AM/AOS) purchased from Windy Hill Orchids. You can't hear it, but it's screaming, "Take me to a flower show! Take me to a Judging Center!" The petals have a 13.7 cm horizontal spread and the last AM of this particular hybrid (awarded in 2004) had a 14.0 cm spread. The symmetry is gorgeous. I love how the warts line up on the topside of the petals. It's an instant favorite.

Last night, I had an opportunity to show off my enthusiasm for orchids at Nerd Nite and I brought the Makuli along as a visual aid. Nerd Nite is nationwide phenomenon based on the idea that nerds should gather to share their passion about nerdy and geeky things. It's a brilliant idea. Typically, Nerd Nite takes place on a monthly basis, is hosted by a restaurant or similar venue, and attracts a crowd for three 20-minute presentations. My talk was titled "Paphiopedilum Dreams: Confessions of an Orchid Freak." I hope to post the video soon. Stay tuned! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Team Bella

I love the double bloom! This is Paph. Triple Bella (Paph. Bella Lucia and Paph. Triple Trix), last seen under Sabine's supervision here. This plant and my glorious Phrag. have made for an exciting Autumn. A third show-stopper opened yesterday (details soon).

Despite my love of Brachys they're living up to their repuation as a tough Paph subgenus to cultivate. I think I'd do better if all of my plants were Brachys (not happening) and I'd do better if I took my own advice. Like I tell everyone, you'll kill your Brachys if you water them with the rest of your Paphs. Wait another day or two.

However, our risk of insanity increases exponentially with every complication we add to our watering routine. Is it worth the risk? The fungus-infested plants I've killed say no, but the two flowers above say yes, yes, and YES.