Monday, August 6, 2012

Micaela's Stanhopea tigrina var. nigroviolacea

Micaela's Stanhopea tigrina var. nigroviolacea
This form was grown by my friend Micaela from the Riverside-San Bernardino Counties Orchid Society and has two inflorescences on each side of the basket. This plant has bloomed for her for two years in a row. She has to water it quite often in the summer when the temperatures are warm.  It is planted in sphagnum moss and is being grown outdoors under a patio....way to go Micaela!

My form of S. tigrina var. nigroviolacea
Comparing Micaela's form above and mine to the left exhibits a wide array of color variation in this variety . These two forms differ in the amount and intensity of the oxblood coloration on the sepals and petals, and the white and yellow coloration particularly on the hypochile.  This is my form that bloomed last July for the first time in 5 years. I was attempting to grow the plant in a new location and it received too much sun.The leaves were scorched by the end of summer, and I had to rebasket the plant to try to save it. Five years later, it finally forgave the treatment and bloomed again.This year it has two inflorescences growing and is producing four new leaves. 

My form of S. tigrina var. nigroviolacea 
with two flowers

I have learned through trial and error that too much sun and a lack of water will set a mature plant back and prevent a good bloom cycle.  In some cases this will continue for years until the plant is provided with more shade, regular water, and the pseudobulb increases in size enough to allow it to produce an inflorescence.  A life lesson learned….treat your Stanhopeas well and they will reward you!  This is an excellent Stanhopea to grow outdoors in southern California, especially due to the huge 6.7 inch (17 cm) wide flowers and heady vanilla/candy fragrance.

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