Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In spike: Phal. bellina #1 and Neo. falcata

First up, one of my two Phal. bellina (this is the largest of the two, so it is by default called #1).  Yet another of my $4 Oak Hill seedlings that is finally maturing.  This one put out a spike last summer (you can see it below the one with the arrow), but it stalled for some reason and never got any bigger than this.  This year's spike is going much more according to plan:

Next is my Neo. (I refuse to call it Vanda) falcata.  Never thought I'd be able to bloom this.  Picked this and a Neostylis up last year at the spring show, figuring I would kill it like I have other small vandaceous plants in the past.  After blooming last year (in spike when I bought it), it put out what I thought would become a new fan...3 or 4 spotted pointy growths in a cluster; looked just like a tiny new fan emerging.  It stopped growing, so I gave up on it.  Then, a couple weeks ago, I looked the plant over and saw the "new fan" was growing again....yay!  Except it turned into a bloom spike instead!  It's now got a second "new fan/spike" just peeking out of the opposite side of the plant...I guess we'll have to wait and see what it turns into!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Now blooming: Phal. Mayamar

Oops, I guess I forgot to post this one!  It's been blooming for a couple weeks now, and I could've swore I posted the pics up here, but I must not have.  Anyway, here they are.

I love this flower.  I have a thing for waxy red phals.  This one is a solid color when viewed normally, but has spots and bars when backlit.  A white and black background for comparison:


Not much happening lately, so I ordered some more plants to make something happen!  Official pics will be coming later, but here's a teaser of what I got:

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Now blooming: Phal. pulcherrima var. champornensis

Pleasantly surprised by this one.  I much prefer this color form over the pink-base-with-yellow-flares version.  Tried to cross this with my open cornu-cervi and make Phal. Summer Red using this color form, but the cross didn't take (quite possibly because I really wasn't sure what I was doing).  But there's more cornu-cervi flowers coming in soon, so I'll try again.  I think it might make an interesting cross.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Now blooming: Rlc. Satoru Toshima 'Lake View'

Here it is!  The ginormo catt.  It blasted one of its 4 buds, but the others are open/opening just fine.  Not as large as last time, just as I figured, but these two aren't half bad :)

I was worried about a poor presentation, with the buds being so close together, but these straightened themselves out well.

And of course, here's a pic with a (horribly blurry and crooked) ruler.  Natural spread of just over 5.5", full spread of at least 6", possibly 7" if you stretched 'em.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Vanilla extract!

I found a thread late last year on OrchidGeeks about making your own vanilla extract.  I never realized this could be done, but after reading the thread, I realized how ridiculously simple it is.

So fast forward a few months, and here's my attempt!

I highly recommend VanillaProductsUSA, the beans were super cheap and their shipping was fast.  Their recipe calls for more beans in less vodka and with a shorter wait time, but I decided to go with less beans but a longer brew.  I plan to make up some bottles of this for Christmas this year, so this stuff has plenty of time to....mature?  I have no idea what to call it.

And here's all the beans chopped up and dumped in the bottle.  The vodka started to turn color almost immediately, so that's a good sign!  Bad news is I had little black vanilla seeds all over EVERYTHING as I was chopping up the beans.  Good news is it made my whole house smell like vanilla :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Now blooming: Phal. equestris (rosea x aurea)

I hate this flower.

Don't get me wrong, I like pelorics and everything. But it ruined an awesome flower in my opinion. I mean, the lip(s) are RED. I don't think I've seen a red-lipped equestris before. Hopefully that comes across in the picture...if it doesn't, trust me, it's an interesting shade of red/maroon. But it also seems to have some flower growth/retaining has blasted all buds except this one so far, and each node of the spike grows a large leaf-like protrusion, giving the spike a very strange appearance. This is a first-bloom seedling, and it's flowering very small, so I'm hoping all the struggles from it right now are just because it's a first bloom and will be better next time.

There's also no pollinia. I suppose that means its sterile? It looks like a genetic mess to me so I doubt I'd ever try to breed with it, but it would be nice if the possibility was there. *shrug*

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Yep, you guessed it....that's what's left of the buds on my Rlc. Seto Rainbow.  They got THAT far along before blasting this time.  Completely and absolutely frustrating.  I came home from vacation to find them like this.  I don't know whether to blame it on being gone for a week, or just the nature of the plant itself.  Either way, there will be no blooms on this plant for a while.  Sadness.

Mystery growth: Angcm. distichum

If this is a bud, it's gonna bloom out of season.  This one bloomed in October last year, so July is a stretch.  I've been having a lot of that this year and I have no idea why.  Seems too high up on the plant to be a new growth.  *shrug*  Guess we'll just have to wait and see.