Friday, June 12, 2009
Orchids with Lee
Worked with Lee and the orchids today, and found that there are many differences between Marie's methods and Lee's... But we did the display, some repotting, and at the end of the day, she showed me how the Disa's (from a certain mountainous region in S. Africa) are crossed. Apparently, no other garden grows these beautiful orchids, because they are difficult. Marie told me that I would have to go to the UK to find them under glass elsewhere. The Disa uniflora is grown from seed at Longwood, which is amazing. With a pencil, you carefully remove the hidden anther from the flower, and attach it to the sticky stigma on the "mother" flower. Unpollenated flowers on the same plant are removed to allow all of the energy to be put into producing the desired seed. After hand-pollinating, the seeds will develop in about a month (hopefully). They are germinated in sphagnum moss in a tray of water (very moist). Careful records are kept and labels are used everywhere to keep track of parentage. The reason we cross them ourselves is to get the cool "splashed" colors on pinks and oranges, and to carry on the unusual shades. Beautiful!