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Russelian Clowesia

Epiphytic plant with ovoid pseudobulbs and plicate leaves up to 40 cm long, the pendulous basal inflorescences carry up to 25 flowers with a diameter of 5 or 6 cm, pleasantly scented, with pale green sepals and petals with dark green veins, while the labellum is whitish-green.

History: it was discovered in Guatemala by George Ure Skinner

in 1838, who sent some plants to the Duke of Bedford a

Woburn, England, where they first flourished in 1840.

Sir William Hooker described it as Catasetum russellianum

in honor of the Duke in the "Botanical Magazine" (t. 3777) in 1840.

C. Dodson transferred it to the Clowesia genre in "Selbyana" 1975.

Synonyms: Catasetum russellianum Hooker.

Etymology: The name Clowesia was given in honor of the Reverend John Clowes of Manchester who was the first cultivator to whom the type species of the genus flourished: Clowesia rosea.

Origin: Mexico, Panama, Venezuela.

Habitat: Very bright, dry areas.

Growing environment: Intermediate hot greenhouse.

Cultivation: The cultivation of the Clowesia is the same as that of the Cataseturns, differing from these only in having the perfect flowers, that is hermaphrodites. In cultivation environments it is good to put into practice all the precautions to prevent snails and slugs from feeding on the succulent inflorescences

Encyclia Mariae

Epiphytic plant with usually pear-shaped pseudobulbs of gray-green color bearing two leaves. The inflorescences are normally arched with 5-7 flowers of about 8 cm in diameter and of long duration. The sepals and petals are of a

lemon-green and the very large tubular lip

white with ruffled edges.

Region of origin: Mexico from 500 to 1200 m and from 1000 to 2000 m high in the oak woods.

Crop environment: cool place of the intermediate greenhouse.

Cultivation: minimum winter temperature from 10 to I5 ° C. While the plant is in vegetation it needs plenty of water and a slight shade; after flowering and when the roots have matured, the plant benefits from a rest period. The plant thrives better if it is not exposed to direct sun.

History: It was discovered in 1937 by E. Oestlund in New Mexico near the border with Texas.

Lycaste Cruenta

Epiphytic plant with ovoid and yellowish ribbed pseudobulbs and deciduous leaves up to 30 cm long. The flower stems are born numerous at the base of the pseudobulbs and bear long lasting scented waxy flowers with a diameter of 7-8 cm. The color of the sepals is yellow-green and that of the petals ranges from bright yellow to yellow-orange. The lip leads to the base of the crimson spots.

Region of origin: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador.

History: it was the first species represented in the Botanical Register 1842 on table n. 13, and later described by J. Lindley as Maxillaria cruenta. Soon after, in 1843, Lindley gave birth, in the Bot. Reg., To the new Lycaste family, adding to this also our species, and at the same time that until then known as Maxillaria skinneri. There was some confusion regarding the name of Lycaste skinneri (Bateman ex Lindley) Lindley, in which our bloody Lycaste was also involved, as at that time Lindley based her results only on Bateman manuscripts and his dried flowers.

The first plants were discovered by Skinner in Guatemala and shipped to Bateman; they first flourished with Sir Charles Lemon.

Although the stem mostly bears only one flower, we are not speaking of scape but of inflorescence, since occasionally two flowers can also be produced, and the length of the stem, as well as the many bracts, confirm this interpretation.

Etymology: Lycaste was the name of a daughter of King Priam. Cruenta means blood red referring to the red spot on the lip.

Habitat: Especially on the slope on the Pacific side; on trees along rivers, preferably at a height between 800 and 1800 meters.

Growing environment: Temperate / cool.

Cultivation: Lycastas, "which shed their leaves" if treated according to their native conditions, can give amateurs a lot of satisfaction. The plant likes a spot in partial shade with a good and constant air flow. The leaves must be protected from direct sunlight, and a position in the shade of tall larger plants is preferable. In winter, Lycaste cruenta requires a clear and cool place. In spring the shoots appear together with the flower stems. During this period, watering must be started, however, being very careful as the shoots are extremely sensitive to water. From this moment the plant needs a warmer place. After flowering, growth begins, during which the plant needs abundant moisture for the complete maturation of the leaves and the bulb. During the summer months, when the weather is more favorable, the plant can be outdoors. In late autumn, when the shoots have fully matured, the leaves fall and the rest period begins, but it is still necessary to provide sufficient atmospheric humidity. A few weeks before flowering, Lycaste cruenta must be (temporarily) completely dry, but in the morning hours it must be lightly vaporized.

Temperature: in winter the minimum night temperature must be around 12 ° C; while the maximum can reach 28 ° C, depending on the season and the weather outside. Our species can be grown in pots or baskets with good drainage; osmunda, mexifarm, xaxim or bark are suitable, and an addition of dry beech or oak leaves is recommended. The plant can also be tied horizontally on bark, but care must be taken to provide it with the necessary moisture. Fertilize only during the growing season, approximately every 2 weeks. By following these notes carefully, Lycaste cruenta can also be grown on internal window sills.

-">Paphiopedilum venustum

Paphiopedilum venustum has silvery gray leaves, with dark green spots more or less accentuated on the upper page, while the lower page has a purple spot corresponding to those of the upper page. The vegetations develop side by side thus giving rise to compact plants. The 15-20 cm high stem carries a flower, sometimes two, with a diameter of 8-9 cm. The dorsal sepal is characterized by marked green veins on a white background. The labellum has a typical dark green vein on a cream background. The petals are green at the base, changing to orange to end in red at the apex. On these colors there are dark green veins and more or less intense brown spots depending on the origin of the plant. In fact, this species is widespread in a very vast range (Bangladesh, Assam, Nepal) and therefore has a great variability, so much so that some authors have described numerous varieties, while others consider the variants only cultivars linked to the environment.

History: it was discovered by Dr. Wallich in Sylhet (Bangladesh) in the early years of the last century. It was later introduced to Europe from the botanical garden of Calcutta, from the English firm Witley, Brames and Milne where it flourished. With this material available it was described by Sims in 1820. This species was one of the first to be used to obtain an artificial hybrid, Paphiopedilum x Crossii (P. venustum x P. insigne) obtained from Cross, in 1871.

Etymology: from the Latin "venustum", beautiful.

Habitat The regions where P. venustum grows are subject to the South-West monsoons, which bring hot and humid in summer (18-32 ° C). From the end of October, the North-East monsoons prevail, which lower the temperature somewhat (5-20 ° C). Humidity reaches its annual minimum in January, when the rains are very low and the humidity necessary for the plants is ensured by the constant mist. This species lives in very humid and humus-rich soils, in dense forests, at the foot of trees, and on steep walls along waterways.

Cultivation: like the other Paphiopedilum it must be grown in a well-drained compost, which allows air to circulate between the roots and which must never dry out too much. A period of light rest from November to December with lower temperatures and reduced watering favors flowering.

-">Orchids: Catasetum Macroglossum Rolfe

Similar to Catasetum viridiflavum and Catasetum oerstedii with robust pseudobulbs and broad leaves, the erect inflorescence bears fleshy green flowers; the labellum is superior, with petals and sepals slightly bent back.

History: in November 1911 W. Fox found a Catasetum on the trunk of a tree in an Indian house near the Garaparana River (a tributary of the Putumayo in Peru). He brought this plant to Kew, where it later flourished, and was described and recognized as a new species by R.A. Roye, then curator of the botanical garden.

The description appears with a color illustration in the "Botanical magazine" (vol. 139, t. 8514, 1913). The species is as close to Catasetum bicolor Klotzoch as to Catasetum callosum Lindley. The Catasetum microglossum is pollinated by bees which are attracted by the scent. There is no data or information regarding the composition of the perfume and the breed of bees.

Etymology: from the Greek Kata and from the Latin silk, referring to the two appendages at the base of the column in the male flowers, macroglossum from the Latin: small tongue, referring to the size and shape of the lip.

Region of origin: in the eastern slope of the Andes in Peru. Habitat: preferably in clear and sunny places on isolated straight trees, poles or similar.

Growing environment: warm greenhouse.

Cultivation: the cultivation of Catasetum microglossum requires a very clear and sunny place, the temperatures of the day can safely reach 30 ° C and more, while a night heat of about 18 ° C is sufficient. The plant bears the scorching sun (without shelter), and must not be shaded; the more sun it gets while growing, the more female it will have, while the more shade it will give male flowers.

As a substrate it adapts well to a permeable compound of fern bark and fiber; an addition of sphagnum is not advisable because it retains too much water and the roots and shoots tend to rot easily. During growth it must be watered regularly because the plants need a lot of water, and the soil must never be completely dry.

During growth it can be fertilized.

After the complete ripening of the bud of the year, in autumn, the plant drops all the leaves, normal condition, and at the same time the rigorous rest period begins. The plants should then be placed in a cooler position and kept absolutely dry, until the new shoots appear and they have reached a few centimeters in length. Only then will regular watering begin again.

Plants can be propagated by division at the end of the vegetative cycle, therefore at the beginning of the rest period; the 'fragments' must in each case include 2 bulbs.

Catasetum macroglossum can, like all Catasetum, also be grown at home and absolutely does not need a greenhouse. It blooms in cultivation mainly in July / August, but depending on their origin, also in September. The flower lasts a week and is not suitable for cutting.

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