Last word on Stanhopea

stan1Remember the Stanhopea? I sent email to John Marcotte asking him if he had any information on it, and he was kind enough to forward my photos to Peter and Inge Poot, who are Stanhopea specialists and AOS judges.

This is their reply:

This plant looks a lot like S. x ruckeri, a natural hybrid between S. wardii and S. oculata. The man-made hybrid of these species is S. Ronsard. The natural hybrid is quite common in Mexico according to the literature. This plant has the shape of  wardii, with oculata showing up in the spots arranged in circles and the somewhat widening gap in the apex of the hypochile.

My plant was collected in Honduras, and is probably a natural hybrid.

Here are some more pictures of my stanhopea:

Here’s a picture of a stanhopea oculata:


And here’s a picture I found on the Web of a stanhopea wardii:


Cattleya Portia var. coerulea

Two of the five inflorescents on the cattleya Portia var. coerulea have bloomed, they look especially pretty beside the pink bougainvillea blooming in the corner of my grow room.

The last picture shows an unknown variety of stanhopea that I picked up at John’s sale. You can see two inflorescents coming out of the bottom of the cage it’s sitting in — for obvious reasons, this particular type of orchid can’t be placed in a regular pot, because the blooms would get trapped trying to emerge from the bottom. This plant will bloom in the next day or two. I used to think stanhopea’s were ugly orchids, but I think “bizarre” is a better description of them. And they do have a lovely scent when they open.