Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stanhopea ruckeri var. alba

This is the form of S. ruckeri that lacks red in the flowers, with no eye spots and no red spots on the petals, sepals, hypochile and column.  The flower is a clean off-white color with green to green blue color infused into the sepals and petals.  The hypochile is a deep yellow color at the base and ivory white on the epichile.  The column is white with a well-defined blue-green infusion of color in the center that is often not captured well in photographs.  Altogether this is a good representative of the crisp and clean color combinations of an alba form of S. ruckeri in sharp contrast to the red spotted form.

S. ruckeri var. alba flowers
S. ruckeri var. alba column with blue-green coloration
The fragrance of this flower is very light and almost undetectable.  It favors a slight fresh baked bread scent mixed with lily.   It would seem that this is the form that was given the specific epithet of inodora for its” lack “of fragrance compared with other more fragrant Stanhopea.  This orchid also resembles the plate of S. inodora found in Edward's Botanical Register and published in 1845, from a plant that was imported from Mexico.

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