Monday, June 6, 2016

Echeveria Epiplus Orchid

Without trimmed bush...

With trimmed bush...

Uploaded for: Echeveria gibbiflora

My Echeveria gibbiflora is trying to win the Guinness World Book Record for tallest Echeveria. I'm guessing that it's around 8 years old because it blooms once a year and I counted around 8 bloomings.

A few years ago I attached a small division of Dendrobium discolor x canaliculatum to the Echeveria. So happy together? So how is the weather? Which orchid would you have chosen?

On the left you can see Kalanchoe beharensis epiplus Encyclia cordigera.

This is the first year that I've attached orchids to a few of my Aloes. I'm pretty sure that, out of all the succulents, Aloes have the most potential in terms of hybridizing to create some super awesome hosts for orchids. Right now there are some species and hybrids that are good hosts... but none of them are super awesome hosts. They are either too slow and/or don't have enough suitably sized and accessible branches. If I had to pick the best one it would probably be Aloe tongaensis. It's relatively fast but still not nearly fast enough.  And it's just a bit large for taking to shows.

A little while back I pollinated my Aloe tenuior with pollen from several different tree Aloes.  Aloe tenuior is a relatively fast grower that makes somewhat upright branches.  The branches are on the skinny side though so I tried crossing it with Aloes that have much thicker branches/trunks.  Pods formed and ripened, I sowed the seeds and now I have four seedlings.  From the getgo they looked stouter than tenuior but I couldn't be quite certain that they weren't selfings.  It's been kinda driving me nuts.  Their stoutness might just be a function of somewhat different culture (more sun, more water, fertilizer, etc.) but I'm leaning towards the idea that they are hybrids.  With what though?!  I didn't keep track of which pollen went in which flowers.

This last weekend my friend Michelle and I walked around my front yard comparing one of the seedlings with its potential pollen donors.  We narrowed the list down to these two Aloes...

Aloe dichotoma
Aloe Hercules

Woah!  It would be pretty wild if either of these two Aloes really was the pollen donor!  And normally I wouldn't jump the gun like this but I really want to encourage anybody and everybody to try and reduplicate these crossings in order to provide some evidence for, or against, the possibility of compatibility.  Of course with the main goal being to create/proliferate some super awesome hosts for orchids.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Prosthechea vitellina x Green Hornet

Post on Epiphyte Society of Southern California (ESSC) Facebook page


Next weekend (June 11, 12) is the Fern and Exotic Plant Show at the Los Angeles Arboretum.  Dan Asbell will be selling blooming size Prosthechea vitellina x Green Hornet orchids in 3" pots for $20 dollars.  Roberta Fox has been growing this cross near the coast and you can see a photo of it on her website...

Prosthechea vitellina is a cooler grower while Green Hornet is a warmer grower.  Will the cross grow when it's cooler and when it's warmer?  If so, then it will be an especially good orchid for growing outdoors year around here in Southern California!

Besides being a cooler grower, Prosthechea vitellina is pollinated by hummingbirds.  Will the cross also be pollinated by hummingbirds?  Let's find out!

Also be sure and check out the Orchid Society of Southern California (OSSC) auction on June 11 at 2pm!