Friday, August 31, 2012

Nepenthes spectabilis (N. Sumatra)

Nepenthes spectabilis is from N. Sumatra and Aceh,  Philippines, growing at 1400 to 2200 meters above sea level. "Spectabilis," is latin for "visable" or "notable," probably because it is a very striking, colorful species when mature. It's also a very variable species. Mine is the North Sumatra form, the nicest of them all, (in my opinion anyway.)

When I saw the one that the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx had in their greenhouse, I knew I needed one in my collection too. Unfortunately, this Nepenthes hates me. I bought it years ago when my other highland Neps seemed to be doing well. I'm not sure why it is so sensitive to temperature when all the other highland Neps, (that are supposedly harder to make happy,) do fine here.

The whole plant, looking a little beat up.
This is the 1st pitcher it has made in about a year. Highland Nepenthes species specifically need warm days, about 70-80°F/21-27°C and bright light. They also need cooler nights, between 50-60°F/10-16°C. Growing at such a high elevation they have adapted to growing at night within that temperature range and need it for long term health. There are "ultra-highland" Nepenthes that need even cooler nights than that. I haven't even attempted to grow them, there's no way I can keep anything colder than that at night unless I use a refrigerator (and some serious hobbyists do.) I can provide a temperature drop at night, but it may not be cool enough some parts of the year and they understandably will sometimes temporarily stop or slow pitchering. This one's super sensitive though, and only made this pitcher because the temps have been dipping around 55-60°F at night lately. I'd like to say I hate it the way it hates me, but I don't, and I'll be keeping it, even if it only pitchers a few times a year.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nepenthes rafflesiana Brunei Giant aka BE clone #99

 I hunted down this Nepenthes. N. rafflesiana is a very variable species and popular, so there are many clones and forms to chose from. I'd have a few different forms by now if it wasn't for the fact that they get very large. This species has squat, winged lower pitchers and the peristome is taller than normal, elevating the lid. N. rafflesiana also has a distinct upper pitcher that forms from leaves as the vine gets taller that become more funnel shaped.

The 'Brunei Red' cultivar is from Borneo Exotics, clone #99

Nepenthes rafflesiana is species that is fairly widespread, growing in Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and Sumatra. It's a lowland species growing at elevations from sea level to 1500 meters above. The younger plant's leaves are covered in hairs, giving them almost a fuzzy appearance.

It was getting increasingly hard to take pictures of the lowland Nepenthes that I grow in the terrarium. Here's what it looks like after I spent a good amount of time chopping down vines. I have yet to clean it out, that comes next weekend.

Lowland terrarium
Back row from left to right: N. x Ventrata, Vanilla planifolia (variegated), N.globosa/'Viking', N. Judith Finn, N. Miranda.

Front row from left to right: N. bicalcarata, N. rafflesiana Brunei Giant, N. ampullaria 'Brunei Red'....the rest on the right front is N. Judith Finn's vine. It's flowering so I'm waiting to cut it down.

Just a general idea of what's going on in there. I'll make individual posts for the one's I haven't yet now that I can get in and take some pictures again.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Why did I not upload these earlier: Philadelphia Flower Show 2012

We take too many pictures of plants. We have a 1 terabyte external hard drive that's filled exclusively with music and pictures. We need another for everything else/a back up. Organizing everything was a huge project, but it benefits you guys because I keep finding things and wondering why I didn't think to share sooner.

I picked out some of the better pictures we took at the 2012 Philadelphia Flower Show. We've gone the past 2 years and it's always a good time. The exceptionally bright lighting there makes for difficult pictures, so these were the best of the bunch. I labeled the ones I could, but if you know the name of something that isn't labeled please let me know in the comments. I wish I had written down more names, but it gets so packed with people at the convention center that it's difficult just to be able to see everything.

Anyway, lots of pictures of mostly orchids and cacti below. Enjoy!

Strelitzia nicolai


Dendrobium unicum

Paphiopedilum hybrid

Phragmipedium hybrid

Laelia purpurata (Thanks Michael for the ID)

Phalaenopsis stuartiana. Bought one of these at the show after seeing this one.

A few bonsai displays

I think this was my favorite. I love deciduous bonsai'd trees.

I love the bark on this one.

Next: Cacti and Succulent judging and displays!

Philadelphia C&S Society members plants

This nice Mammillaria

Awesome Notocactus scopa clump.

Cool Lithops diplay.

Out of bloom succulent display

Great potting for a display, or THE GREATEST potting for a display?

Really nice Astrophytum asterias, possibly a 'Super Kabuto' like cultivar?

Fuzzy Mammillaria

Astrophytum capricorne

Uelbelmannia pectinifera

Gasteria ellaphieae

Crassula columnella (Thanks LT for the ID,) too cute.

Crassula "Springtime' (Thanks LT for the ID.) This one was very tiny.

I don't know, but this is an awesome clump of cactus.
I know better than to touch displays, but it was difficult to keep my hands to myself with this one.
Normally I'm a cactus touch-er! Spikes be damned, I'll pull 'em out of my hand later

Next: Some AOS orchid judging and displays

Specimen Dendrobium kingianum

Close up of a D. kingianum flower.

Epidendrum hybrid.

Lycaste 'Arcadian Sunrise'. I love this one!

Very nice Paph hybrid, wish I could remember the name.

Phalaenopsis hybrid about to really start blooming

Cattleya hybrid

Vanda tricolor (Thanks Antonio for the ID.) I love this one as well!
Phaius tankervilleae (Thanks Michael for the ID)

Catasetum 'Pink Lemonade'. I killed one of these years ago, wishing I still had it looking at this picture.

Flower close up

Dendrobium spectabile. It'll be 10 years until mine's this size, lol!

I just like Nobile-type dendobiums, gotta get one someday.

View of Center City, Philadelphia PA, from our hotel room. It's pretty gray and cold still in March.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!
I've got a ton more from the 2011 Show if you all want more.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

NOID Mini Phalaenopsis

While I'm waiting on some buds to bloom, I was going through pictures from this year and found some of this mini Phal that bloomed over the winter. For those of you that liked my husband's "dramatic," pictures of my plants, I came across these and figured I might as well put them up.

I like the very round shape and light purple-pink color of the flowers is interesting too, I thought the phal breeding trend was bolder brighter colors so I was expecting something different when it bloomed the 1st time 2 winters ago for me. I rescued this one from a Lowe's, out of bloom for $2. Mostly because the leaves are spotted and green/purple on top and red/purple on the undersides in high light. These pics while it was blooming we're taken during the winter when there's much less light here, so unfortunately you can't see it in the bloom pictures.


Here's a picture below I took today where you can see the spotting. If you aren't familiar with the terminology, "NOID" is short for "no identification." However, I'd put money on Phalaenopsis schilleriana being one of the parent plants of this hybrid.

Spotty leaves with increased light levels

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hoya kerrii doing things that vines do

I've been ignoring this one. I hung it outside in a tree when it got too big to stay on the stoop and forgot about it. It's been getting water almost exclusively when it rains and seems to be pretty happy that I left it alone to do it's thing. I just never really look at it, so when I went outside to do something else I noticed it's plan to dominate and take over the tree.

It has begun...

Go, kerrii, go!

H. kerrii is one of those vining/climbing Hoyas. It's stems are very tough and not easily trained though, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do about this once it has to come back inside. I kind of feel bad moving it after it clearly put in effort to climb the tree.

No Hoya flowers this summer, and we're heading into fall here. So at this point it's safe to say we won't be seeing any this year. Neofinetia falcata 'White Tara' x 'Crystal Palace' is working on some flowers, as is my Nepenthes Judith Finn, so there's always that. I'll figure out how to bloom Hoyas one day.

Friday, August 17, 2012

One big cacti update post (Pretty pictures and bad news)

So I've has good news and bad news around here. I'll start with some of the good.

Matucana madisoniorum is flowering again. I love this cactus, the red blooms are stunning.

M. madisoniorum

Rebutia muscula stopped flowering for about a month there, then threw out a few more flowers recently.

R. muscula
And Gymnocalycium mihanovichii is flowering again too.

G. mihanovichii

However, we had about 2 weeks straight of rain. It's humid here in the summers as is without that kind of weather so I wasn't terribly surprised when I noticed some mites on a few of the cacti. Well, a few means they probably all have some so I decided to use my Ortho® Rose Pride insecticide spray (I love it) that works so well for mites, aphids, etc. This worked great on the cacti too.......for the most part. Although it did do what it was supposed to and kill mites, it also burnt the crap out of 3 cacti and 1 succulent. It was probably  my fault and I put too much on some of them, or maybe they had more sensitive skin. Either way, chemical burns ensued.

Echeveria 'Lola'

Gymnocalycium pflanzii var albipulpa

Gymnocalycium baldianum and Echinopsis subdenudata....NOOOOOO!
OUCH! Sucks big time. The Echinopsis got hit the hardest, (of course, my favorite one.) Everything is growing out fine though, and the burns have not spread past there original size. I may have to cut off some of the dead spots. I already resprayed the Echinopsis for fungus, as that was growing on the dead skin. NOT FUN. At the end of the day, it's really just cosmetic damage, the plant's will be fine. However, I'll use Mite-X or something else, now that I know they all aren't fine with the Ortho.

Oh, but to not leave on a bad note, my Haworthia reinwardtii that a friend gave me earlier this summer is going to bloom. I'll put up some more pics of that one when it does.

On the right, Haworthia reinwardtii