Habenaria rhodocheila

bonaventure@optonline.net bonaventure@optonline.net
Tue, 28 Aug 2007 04:57:04 PDT
Now in bloom for me is a pink flowered form of this pretty little tuberous terrestrial orchid species. The whole plant is a small rosette of bronzish lanceolate leaves about 3 inches across and a spike 4 inches high of a dozen or so distinctive flowers. Tubers came to me 3 years ago in the fall looking like fuzzy caterpillars. They were planted in a small pot of potting mix/perlite and when growth showed in mid June were watered carefully. This year they came up in mid-May and are also blooming a month earlier. They are on a half-day sun windowsill. When leaves start to yellow in October the pots will be unceremoniously stashed in the back of a kitchen cupboard! I love no-fuss plants.
BTW I crossed them with my outdoor bog Pecteilis (Habenaria) radiata (egret flower), which already has seed pods forming on it, as well as a Platanthera ciliaris, from being hybridized 2 weeks ago. According to someone who raises orchid seed for me, last year's Pecteilis radiata crossed with Platanthera blephariglottis (done both ways) are coming along. 
This year is the first time the Habenaria rhodocheila complied by blooming early enough, though I could have saved some pollen from the Platanthera ciliaris. The latter grew strongly this year while Platanthera blephariglottis did not and Bonatea speciosa is having dormancy and growth season issues (just starting now).
Pollen to Europe was mailed for a friend today who grows terrestrial orchids.
Bonaventure Magrys
Cliffwood Beach, NJ USA

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