Saturday, August 10, 2013

Stanhopea Romp 1 - Andy's Orchids

I was pleased that Andy Phillips from Andy's Orchids agreed to assist me with documenting historical live collections of Stanhopea collected in the wild, and we met at the nursery to discuss this and other research. As always, Andy is a wealth of information on orchids - a real walking encyclopedia.  In between visits from clients I had an opportunity to have a tour of the nursery that is a guided affair.  I had a nice time discussing the trials of Stanhopea cultivation with one of Andy's horticulturalists Katrin.

My favorite place in the nursery is of course "Stanhopea Alley".  Stanhopea are found in many parts of the nursery, but this is the main area for the cool to intermediate growers that can perform well growing outdoors in coastal southern California.

Stanhopea Alley and outdoor growing
 Stanhopea species

In here I found a very nice Stanhopea ruckeri in bloom and bud.  This form has a great cinnamon fragrance and the green tinted column is a nice touch!  I missed the blooming of S. martiana by a few days and the S. oculata that was in spike was a few weeks away.  Several Acineta were also in spike in this area!

Stanhopea ruckeri with a nice cinnamon fragrance

In one of the warm greenhouses I found Acineta superba in bloom, Stanhopea xytriophora in bud (just a day or so away from blooming), and Stanhopea jenischiana 'Catorce' in bud.

Acineta suberba inflorescence
Stanhopea xytriophora in bud
Stanhopea jenischiana 'Catorce'
I had to pinch myself to make sure I was not dreaming.  Katrin took me into another greenhouse to see a Stanhopea that just opened.  I almost could not believe that this was Stanhopea haselowiana.  This was the first time I had the opportunity to see this species in flower - it was fantastic and definitely the highlight to my tour!  Thanks Andy and Kat!

Kat with a nice Stanhopea haselowiana
Stanhopea haselowiana flower with intense
purple/red spots in psychedelic patterns.

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